Minutes after President Trump announced his decision to abandon the Paris Climate Agreement, Virginia elected officials began to share their disapproval.
Trump said his decision to withdraw from the pact, signed by 195 nations, would help preserve American jobs and avoid placing heavy burdens on the country’s taxpayers.
Rep. Don Beyer (D), who represents Arlington in the House of Representatives, highlighted how Trump’s decision to withdraw will negatively impact the United States’ foreign relationships.
“Trump’s decision will be a self-inflicted wound on our allies’ trust in American leadership,” Beyer wrote in a statement alongside fellow members of the House Safe Climate Caucus. “The Paris Agreement was a vision reflecting decisive action, hope, ingenuity, and the ideals with which we would define our country’s place in the world. Withdrawal from that agreement represents a triumph of ignorance, nativism and political pandering, and the message it sends to other countries will be disastrous for the relationships which have built and sustained our prosperity.”
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) released a statement condemning the president’s decision. He wrote that despite the withdrawal, Virginia will continue to do its part to fight climate change.
“The President’s dangerous action today will have a devastating impact on our environment, our economy, and our health,” McAuliffe said. “The United States economy is dependent on leadership in the world, yet the President seems inclined to sit back and let other nations pass us by. Climate change is a threat to our way of life. If President Trump refuses to lead the response, Virginia will.”
McAuliffe also detailed how his own actions have differed from Trump’s. He wrote how in early May, he signed an order to reduce carbon emissions in the Commonwealth.
“The President seems to think that the U.S. commitment to cut about [one quarter] of our carbon pollution by 2025 is beyond the grasp of the country that won World War II and put men on the moon,” Kaine said in a statement.
Kaine added that he wants to be able to tell his future grandchildren that the US met the environmental challenge “head-on and triumphed over it, not shrank and cowered from it.”
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) called the president’s announcement a “rejection of settled science.” He also highlighted how this historical decision will impact Virginians in the future.
“It poses a direct threat to Virginia’s environment, economy and way of life,” Warner wrote in a statement.
But Kaine managed a few optimistic words amid the swirl of pessimism and condemnation.
“I am confident that our nation’s optimistic, can-do spirit will eventually prevail over this short-sighted dereliction of America’s leadership role,” he said.
A tattoo studio plans to open in Clarendon this month.
Lady Octopus Tattoos, set to move into 3240 Wilson Blvd, is owned by tattoo artist Gilda Acosta. According to the business’ Instagram account, potential clients can begin booking appointments this weekend. Those interested can also sign up for updates on its website.
The studio will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays. It will be closed on Mondays.
The studio will be in the same building as the Portico Church and Arlington Premier Realty, among other businesses.
Acosta attributes her creativity to her childhood, which she spent filling blank pages with illustrations. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the Corcoran College of Art and Design. Following her schooling, Acosta began a three-year apprenticeship with the tattoo artist Fatty of Fatty’s Tattoos & Piercings.
“Her interest in the natural world is evident in her depictions of oceanic and botanical life as well as her figurative work, which has been a main interest since her earliest encounters with pencil and paper. Her work is as influenced by humor, music, and everyday situations as by themes of gender and sexuality, dreams and the subconscious, spirituality and the occult,” says Acosta’s website.
Hat tip to Bill C.
A Japanese restaurant is coming to the Westmont Shopping Center at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road, replacing the Sports House Grill.
According to permit applications filed with the county, Takohachi Japanese Restaurant will move into the space at 3249 Columbia Pike.
As of Thursday, building permits for interior demolition were in the window of the spot between a State Farm agent and a Mattress Firm store.
The Sports House Grill was at the center of some controversy in recent years. In 2013, the County Board denied its application to renew its live entertainment permit to continue karaoke nights.
Neighboring civic associations, the police department and Virginia ABC all opposed the renewal due to concerns about crime. Neighbors had raised concerns about vandalism, violence in the parking lot and alleged drug sales.
No word yet on an opening date.
Editor’s Note: Healthy Paws is a column sponsored and written by the owners of Clarendon Animal Care, a full-service, general practice veterinary clinic and winner of a 2017 Arlington Chamber of Commerce Best Business Award. The clinic is located 3000 10th Street N., Suite B. and can be reached at 703-997-9776.
Lyme disease is a hot topic in general, and even more so in the Northern Virginia area, where many of us know someone personally who has been adversely affected by it, sometimes debilitatingly so.
Lyme disease is also a hot topic in dogs. The classic symptoms in dogs are a “shifting leg” lameness (more than one limb affected) with general lethargy and malaise. In rare cases, it can cause a quickly progressive and often fatal kidney failure called “Lyme nephritis.” While we do not know definitively, there is some thought that Lyme disease may contribute to chronic lameness and joint issues as well.
Because the Ixodes scapularis tick (aka: deer tick or black-legged tick – which carries the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease) is so small, even when engorged we often do not know that we, or our dog, has been bitten. Additionally, dogs do not get the characteristic bull’s-eye rash that people do.
Fortunately, many dogs in our area are screened for exposure to the Lyme bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) on a yearly basis as part of the annual screening for heartworm disease. This blood test checks for antibodies (the dog’s immune response) to the Borrelia (in addition to two other tick-borne organisms: Anaplasma and Ehrlichia).
If positive, it indicates that the dog has been exposed but not necessarily infected; the dog may have mounted an effective immune response and eliminated the organism, or the organism could be “hiding out” in the body ready to rear its ugly head down the road.
Whether or not to treat asymptomatic dogs that test positive on this yearly screening test is a huge topic of debate among veterinarians, especially since a small percentage (around 5 percent) of dogs who test positive ever have any symptoms (compared to humans, where around 90 percent of exposed develop some degree of symptoms).
A positive test warrants reevaluation of the tick prevention strategies being used in the pet and possibly looking into co-infections (i.e. other tick-borne infections the dog may have been exposed to). Treatment typically consists of a four-week course of the antibiotic doxycycline.
Some argue that it’s better to treat than take a chance of actual disease; others argue that we need to be more judicious with our use of antibiotics and only treat dogs that are symptomatic, or those that are showing other markers of infection.
There is no one perfect test for determining which dogs those are, but other tests that your pet’s veterinarian may recommend to determine if treatment is necessary are a urinalysis to screen for protein loss through the kidneys (which can be a potential indicator of the more severe form of the disease that affects the kidneys) or the C6 antibody test (which gives a quantitative antibody number to go with the positive result and may be more useful in symptomatic dogs and with serial measurements).
Each case is unique, and we always recommend talking with your pet’s veterinarian about what further testing might be indicated and whether treatment is indicated for your pet.
We are fortunate that there are several good options for prevention of Lyme Disease, and other tick-borne diseases, in dogs. A good, regular and year-round flea and tick preventative is likely the best prevention. Many experts are recommending the newer generation of oral flea/tick preventatives over the topical preventatives because they are extremely effective and kill the ticks faster – before they have a chance to transmit disease (they do still need to bite to receive the drug).
There is also a vaccine for Lyme in dogs that may be considered for dogs with a lifestyle that may put them at high tick exposure, despite good flea/tick prevention. While neither is 100 percent effective, when combined together they do offer a very high level of protection.
A few side-notes:
- Dogs cannot transmit Lyme disease directly to us, but they do act as sentinels for the disease (as usually wherever your dog has been you have been also) and can bring ticks into the home.
- A special note on cats: while they can certainly pick up ticks, appear to be quite resistant to Lyme disease. There is one tick-born disease called Cytauxzooanosis that can be fatal in cats, but fortunately is not found in Northern Virginia, at least at this point.
- According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, the percentage of dogs testing positive for exposure in Arlington County is 5.75 percent (1 in 18), and in Fairfax County is 8.3 percent (1 in 12).
- Useful websites:
There will be fun for the whole family — several local pet-related businesses on hand to chat, free food from Smoking Kow BBQ for the first 300 attendants, giveaways, live music by Caroline Ferrante & The Whole Magilla, as well as a bounce house and face-painter for the human kids!
Phones and internet are down at Arlington County’s offices at 2100 Clarendon Blvd after an electrical equipment failure this morning, meaning some government services are not available online.
The technical problems struck Courthouse Plaza just after 11 a.m., according to an anonymous tipster, and affect some operations including phones, the permitting website, online utility billing, the GIS mapping center and the library catalog and accounts system.
All other government offices are operating as normal, including the county’s emergency services.
A county spokeswoman said at 1:55 p.m. that service is now being restored “floor by floor” at the government building, but that outages could last for several more hours. Those trying to use some county online services may continue to be impacted.
We're experiencing a phone outage at our Courthouse Plaza location (2100 Clarendon Blvd) due to an electrical equipment failure.
— ArlingtonVA (@ArlingtonVA) June 1, 2017
Some business operations are also affected in this location and we will provide updates as available.
— ArlingtonVA (@ArlingtonVA) June 1, 2017
All other County government services are open for normal operations. Emergency services are also operational.
— ArlingtonVA (@ArlingtonVA) June 1, 2017
Two little discussed revenue raisers in the most recent Arlington budget were included by the County Board in April and formally voted on last week.
Your natural gas and electricity bills will go up in what was described as a “slight uptick” in a recent ARLnow story. The slight uptick is a rate increase of 50%.
Also included in the budget is an increase in local bus ride fares on ART, up 14% for adults and 18% for students.
Arlington’s ability and willingness to raise taxes and fees on its citizens is one of the biggest reasons why the county receives AAA bond ratings from all three credit rating agencies. According to the Fitch ratings, “The county’s revenue framework is solid in its unlimited ability to raise property taxes.”
So never worry that Arlington will lose its highest bond rating because the rating agencies view the taxpayers as a fully stocked ATM.
Last week, Progressive Voice published six of the 32 resolutions adopted by 8th District Democrats, under the heading of a “progressive agenda.”
While too many in the resist movement have dropped any sense of civility in the public policy debate, that the Democrats are listing what they are for should be applauded, even if we disagree.
Included in last week’s post was a dubious call to restrict the ability of your elected representatives the ability to review rules published by federal agencies by imposing a two-thirds supermajority vote to say what the law should be.
While Congress has delegated much of the rule-making authority to agencies, it still ultimately has the authority to make laws under the Constitution. If a majority of the House and Senate can agree on, and a President is willing to sign, a legislative initiative overturning a rule they believe to be out of step with the law, then our Constitutional process has worked as intended.
They also called for a $15 minimum wage across the country. It is still too early to tell what all of the impacts of this change will be in cities like Seattle who have been phasing it in.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 98 percent of full-time workers earn more than the current minimum wage. About 50% of those making the federal minimum wage are high school and college age, often working their first job or a job to help pay for expenses while in school.
Interestingly, 89 percent of teenagers who work are already making more than the current minimum wage. Any policy that has the potential to reduce opportunities for people to learn how to work on their first job on the economic ladder should be viewed with skepticism.
The list included criminal justice reform. This is an area where there is a good deal of crossover appeal to liberty-minded Republicans who believe that “overcriminalization” in America has resulted in over-incarceration and that individuals who made a mistake but want to put their lives together to be productive members of society should be given every opportunity to do so. Hopefully lawmakers on both sides will find areas of agreement in this area that can be passed into law.
Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
On November 28, 2016, the county received a proposal from a private developer, Arcland Property Company. Under the proposal, Arcland would exchange land it owns on Shirlington Road for part of the N. Quincy Street site (known as the Buck property) located across the street from Washington-Lee High School.
The county has an option to purchase the Buck property. That option must be exercised by November 20. If the County Board approved the Arcland land swap, that swap necessarily would take place after November 20. As a condition of Arcland’s proposal, Arcland wants the right to use a portion of the Buck property to build and operate a private self-storage facility.
Arcland’s proposal should be promptly rejected so that the Joint Facilities Advisory Commission and the county can focus on identifying a more appropriate solution for locating ART buses.
In the six months since the Arcland proposal was first unveiled, JFAC has been holding more and more community meetings in different parts of the county, and has been alerting wider segments of the community to the details of the Arcland proposal.
Arcland has been advocating, and the county’s interest in the Arcland proposal reflects, the county’s need to find a long-term solution to ART bus storage.
Although space to store ART buses is a high public priority for the county, adopting the Arcland proposal is the wrong solution because it will have too high a negative impact on the value of the current configuration of the Buck property.
For example, adopting the Arcland proposal would:
- mean the permanent loss of 38 percent of the property’s acreage
- severely limit short and long-term flexibility in county use of the property, e.g. for school athletic fields
- limit the potential to expand adjacent park space
- preclude the long-term potential to deck over I-66
The location, size and flexibility of the Buck property is too unique and too valuable in a fully developed county like Arlington to pay the price of the Arcland proposal.
Moreover, whereas space for storing ART buses does not necessarily need to be located within Arlington County (e.g., it could be in Fairfax County), the types of urgent county uses that can be located on the Buck site, like school swing space, parks and recreation space, office space for critical county or Arlington Public Schools services, should be located within the county’s geographic borders.
The county should promptly reject the Arcland proposal.
The JFAC and the county should immediately conduct cost-benefit analyses of alternative scenarios for acquiring land for ART bus storage without the significant negative impacts of the Arcland proposal.
Such scenarios might include, for example:
- acquiring all or portions of the Arcland property through negotiations or exercising the power of eminent domain
- acquiring property outside of Arlington, e.g., land along Route 50 and/or Columbia Pike for a joint Arlington/Fairfax below ground bus facility/above ground playing fields or other sports facility
- locating ART bus parking below one or more of the Long Bridge Park soccer fields
Rejecting the Arcland proposal is the appropriate thing to do even if it were to turn out that the out of pocket cost for obtaining access to alternative, incremental land for ART bus storage were to exceed the out of pocket cost of accepting the Arcland proposal.
Progressive Voice is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their organizations or ARLnow.com.
By Elaine Furlow
Could you explain basketball’s March Madness to people in China? Who would even try?
A couple of years ago, the University of Dayton added a new angle to its basketball coverage — energetically broadcasting the Flyers’ games in Mandarin.
Why? The university wanted to better engage its international students on campus (about 450 speak Mandarin) and to promote its brand in China, where it has a research institute.
Results: More than 1,200 passionate listeners, here and in China, and lots of spinoff media attention. More people feeling connected to the university, and a brand with brighter luster.
This kind of approach goes beyond just niche marketing, and gets at something Arlington may need more of: getting outside our comfort zone.
Yes, Arlington, which already prides itself on extensive civic involvement, could try new ways to nurture wider community spirit. And progressive political leaders here are trying it to understand emerging needs, recast some political conversations, and prevent unwelcome outcomes in upcoming elections.
Getting outside our bubble could mean our place, our approach or our perspective. At a recent packed event at Central Library, author Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of the Pulitzer prize-winning book “The Sympathizer,” made a positive comment about refugees. It brought strong applause, and one woman murmured, “Good old Arlington.” Yes, Arlington has (and we enjoy) a mostly affluent, educated, fairly Blue bubble, one that cares for others — health care, housing, you name it.
Yet — for example — I have seen students industriously using the internet to research life in Ethiopia, perhaps not knowing that dozens of recent Ethiopian immigrants go to our schools. (They’d be able to give other students a first-hand account!)
How might we become more attuned to worlds different from our own? For starters, consider how we can make those worlds productively collide.
One example: Virginia Tech students are exploring the history of legacy businesses in the Nauck neighborhood and along Lee Highway. They interviewed people like Darryl Collins, owner of Friendly Cab and grandson of founder Ralph Collins. During the segregation of the 1940s and 1950s, women of color had to leave Arlington in order to give birth, usually at a hospital in D.C. Ralph Collins founded his cab company to serve such needs.
For another project in Rosslyn, where busy streets and highways block pedestrian access to the Potomac River, the county asked Virginia Tech students for ideas to make the waterfront more inviting. “We felt they could be both imaginative and unconstrained, unworried about ruffling feathers among the many landowners and agencies,” said one leader.
Arlington basks in our national rankings and urban buzz, yet some may not relish talking ideas, particularly politics, with people who don’t already lean the same way. On the other hand, many progressive leaders feel it’s urgent to escape an echo chamber where friends and media choices just reinforce our own opinions.
Those progressives believe that stepping outside the bubble can help us think better, solve problems better, and perhaps build community in new ways. We also think it may help us steer clear of surprises and shoals in elections to come.
We take a page from people like U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who recently spent several days in small towns in Virginia’s southwestern corner, an area not particularly friendly to Democrats. Just showing up and listening is a start.
Out in red state Montana, Steve Bullock, the Democratic governor, won re-election comfortably last November even when Hillary Clinton got just 36 percent of the vote in his state. He told The New York Times recently: “Ever since, national reporters have asked me whether Montana Democrats have some secret recipe….But it’s not all that hard to figure out. Above all, spend time in places where people disagree with you. Reach out. People will appreciate it, even if they are not inclined to vote for you.”
None of us knows as much about America — and perhaps about Arlington — as we think. Yet we don’t have to visit a faraway red state. If you travel along Glebe Road, Arlington is less than nine miles from end to end, but there are many different worlds along that road. If ever there was a time to expand our view, the time to stretch seems now.
Elaine Furlow was Director, Strategic Planning for AARP until her recent retirement. She also served as an Arlington School Board member from 1998-2005.
Construction is set to begin this winter on improvements to S. Walter Reed Drive between S. Arlington Mill Drive and S. Four Mile Run Drive near Shirlington, a plan in the works since 2014.
S. Arlington Mill Drive will get new left and right turn lanes to make crossing easier for pedestrians and bicyclists. The realignment will be installed temporarily to allow residents to test out the proposed changes, and will remain in place until the work begins.
During the test period, staff will monitor the intersection’s usage to determine signal timings and markings prior to construction.
In addition, the project will include new crosswalks and curb ramps, ADA-compliant bus stops, upgraded traffic and pedestrian signals and new street lighting, among other improvements. S. Walter Reed Drive’s lanes will be restriped and widened slightly.
It is hoped the project will improve bicycle and pedestrian access to Shirlington. The intersection serves as an access point to the neighborhood’s commercial area, while county vehicles are also based at nearby facilities.
The funding for this project is provided through a slew of county sources as well as the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Revenue Sharing Program.
That’s according to the Arlington County Police Department, in response to an inquiry from ARLnow.com. ACPD has thus far not provided additional details about the nature of the arrests, the suspects or the schools involved.
The new statistic comes as ACPD starts conducting K-9 drug searches after hours in Arlington public high schools.
Current and former students, who spoke to ARLnow.com on the condition of anonymity, said there is drug problem within the school system.
“Over the past two years or so, I have definitely seen an increase in drug usage among high school students, particularly Xanax and Adderall,” said one recent graduate. “If I had to place blame on one thing, I would say that stress is what’s driving most kids towards drug use, but particularly Xanax and Adderall. The stress problem is really something that APS needs to get out in front of sooner rather than later.”
A current junior at Yorktown High School said the issue extends beyond prescription drugs.
“Yorktown definitely has a drug problem,” she said. “So many people have started getting into cocaine and a lot of the other harder drugs and many of them don’t even think much of it just because they see it around so often. It’s definitely considered ‘cool’ to be into that sort of thing, which is why I think so many kids are drawn to it.”
“There’s not much else to do so a lot of people do for fun,” said a recent graduate. “I don’t think people really think of themselves as addicts.”
“The middle schools are the worst,” said a senior. “Kids have older siblings that are in high school and are able to sell to the younger students. It’s a cycle.”
In a prior statement, an Arlington Public Schools spokesman said APS is taking steps to combat drug use, adding that the problem is part of a larger trend that extends well beyond Arlington.
“As you know, substance abuse and opioid use is a growing problem both in our region and across the US,” said Frank Bellavia. “In collaboration with our law enforcement partners, we are taking steps to make sure that our students are safe and that our schools remain drug free. We also want to make sure that parents are aware and having conversations with their children at home.”
Kalina Newman and Brooke Giles contributed reporting. File photo.
FBI Seeking Man Who Touched Girl at Cemetery — The FBI’s Washington Field Office is searching for a man who “inappropriately touched a girl as the two stood in a crowd during a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.” [NBC Washington]
Task Force Recommends ‘Fleet Elementary’ — The task force charged with recommending a name for the new elementary school being built next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School has settled its choice: “Alice West Fleet Elementary.” Fleet was the first African-American reading teacher in Arlington’s public school system. The task force did not recommend transferring the name of Patrick Henry, a slave owner, from the current school, which will be transferring its students to new new school when it is complete. [InsideNova]
Bicyclist Group Calls Out Biking Bullies — In a blog post, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association is calling out aggressive male riders who yelled insults at a female bike commuter on two separate occasions on the Mt. Vernon Trail. “This sort of behavior is totally unacceptable,” the group said. [WABA]
Mt. Vernon Trail Upgrade Complete — The National Park Service has completed an upgrade to a portion of the Mt. Vernon Trail that runs through the Theodore Roosevelt Island parking lot. The upgrade includes a new crossing and speed table across the parking lot and the widening of the trail. [Greater Greater Washington]
Arlington Sells Bonds at Low Interest Rate — Arlington County solds $185 million in bonds at a relatively low 2.5 percent interest rate. “The interest rate we received today is one of the lowest we’ve ever received,” County Manager Mark Schwartz said in a press release. “However, it is slightly higher than the rate we received last year.” [Arlington County]
Tight Race in Va. Gov. Primary — The two candidates battling it out in the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary are in the midst of a tight race. The race between Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello is being portrayed as a contest between an establishment figure (Northam) and a progressive darling (Perriello). Primary voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, June 13. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
2001 N. Upton Street
Neighborhood: Waverly Hills
Open: Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4, from 1 to 4 p.m.
We look to Arlington’s shrinking supply of 1930s houses for the Listing of the Day, and this Waverly Hills Cape Cod does not disappoint.
The owners thoughtfully updated it with new roof, recent HVAC, water heater and electric panel box while retaining its intrinsic character. A wood burning fireplace is the focal point of the living room while the dining room flows into to the kitchen and sunroom — ideal for entertaining and daily living.
The top floor is given over to a master suite with double closets, seating area, and a renovated bathroom. Heart pine floors and a dormered ceiling enhance the appeal. Two bedrooms on the man level of the home share an updated bathroom. Recently finished, the expansive lower level rec room has recessed lighting, slate floor and accommodates areas for play, exercise, media, and hobbies.
A door from the rec room opens to backyard, making it convenient to enter the home for cleanups in the new half bath after gardening, play, and sports. Also on this level is the laundry area, storage room, and utility room with even more storage.
Walk to neighborhood park and Lee Heights Shops for restaurants, services, Starbucks, patisserie, and wine store. Take the ART bus to Ballston Metro or the Metro bus from nearby Lee Highway directly to downtown Washington. Easy commute to D.C., Rosslyn-Ballston business corridor, Crystal City, airport, Fort Myer, and Foreign Service Institute. Perfectly poised near Old Dominion Drive for the reverse commute to Tysons.
Schools are Glebe Elementary, Swanson Middle School, and Washington-Lee High School.
A home brimming with style, updates and vintage details in a location you will appreciate.
Betsy Twigg – Washington Fine Properties