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by Chris Teale September 6, 2017 at 5:30 pm 0

Del. Alfonso Lopez (D) and Republican challenger Adam Roosevelt clashed on whether Virginia should expand Medicaid, but found agreement on immigration, during a candidate forum on Tuesday night (September 5).

Lopez, who has represented the 49th District for three terms in the Virginia House of Delegates and serves as the Minority Whip, said expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act should be done for moral and economic reasons. That plan has been unsuccessful both through the General Assembly and executive action.

“There are working families without health insurance in Virginia,” Lopez said. “It’s immoral not to expand Medicaid.”

But Roosevelt, who is challenging Lopez in the district that includes neighborhoods along Columbia Pike, around Pentagon City and west to Bailey’s Crossroads and Seven Corners in Fairfax County, said it is unaffordable and will cost Virginians more in tax dollars.

“That is what they will not tell you: your taxes will increase, and we have enough taxes as it is,” Roosevelt said. The debate, at Virginia Hospital Center, was attended by about 100 people.

The rivals appeared to be in broad agreement on immigration and the status of illegal immigrants, the same day as President Donald Trump announced he would rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. To start, they agreed that illegal immigrants who commit crimes in this country should be deported.

Both also pledged to protect legal migrants and undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children and have otherwise not committed crimes. Lopez said decisions about immigration must come from the federal level, not the state.

“What we have is a fundamentally broken immigration system at the federal level,” he said.

At times, there were frosty moments between the two as they sparred over issues like climate change, a woman’s right to choose and redistricting reform. After Lopez outlined his record on the environment, including co-founding the Virginia Environment & Renewable Energy caucus to advocate for issues in Richmond and across the state, Roosevelt cut in.

“I’ll remind my opponent we’re talking about the 49th District here,” Roosevelt said, arguing that the discussion should be focused more on local issues than statewide topics.

Later, the two disagreed on how boundaries should be redrawn for Virginia’s Congressional and General Assembly. Boundaries will be redrawn after the next census in 2020, but that could come sooner depending on a case making its way through the courts.

Lopez called for a non-partisan commission to draw new boundaries separate from General Assembly leadership, but Roosevelt said he had not done enough in Richmond to bring about such changes.

“My opponent has quite a voice tonight and quite a position to stand in to effect these changes,” he said.

And the pair differed on their belief in a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion. Roosevelt said the life of both the woman and a fetus must be protected and said the issue should not be politicized, but Lopez did not equivocate in his view and criticized others in the General Assembly who have tried to take the right to choose away.

“How many times do we have to get up on the floor of the House of Delegates and fight people who want to take away a woman’s right to choose?” he asked.

Lopez and Roosevelt are on the ballot on November 7, while Arlington’s three other delegates are all unopposed.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor September 6, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

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by Chris Teale September 6, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Rep. Don Beyer (D) announced Wednesday he will use the coming weeks in Congress to push for safety at two roadways that run through Arlington County.

Beyer said he will introduce appropriations amendments related to repairs for Memorial Bridge and safety on the George Washington Memorial Parkway as Congress debates legislation to fund the federal government’s operations past the deadline of September 30. Beyer’s district includes Arlington and a portion of Fairfax County as well as Alexandria and Falls Church Cities.

Memorial Bridge received $90 million last year from the federal government for repairs after years of deterioration and neglect led to worries it could close by 2021.

But Beyer said he wants to require President Donald Trump’s administration to submit a report to Congress outlining a plan to fully fund repairs, as the project could cost up to a quarter-billion dollars.

And for the GW Parkway, Beyer submitted an amendment requiring the Secretaries of Interior and Transportation to carry out a study on how to improve safety in its sections south of Alexandria in Fairfax County. The parkway, which like the Memorial Bridge is controlled by the National Park Service, has been the site of several serious crashes in recent times, sending motorists to the hospital and snarling traffic.

“Arlington Memorial Bridge and the George Washington Parkway are essential hubs for my constituents in Northern Virginia,” Beyer said in a statement. “Unfortunately, like much of the country’s infrastructure, these historic roadways have not been maintained sufficiently. We need prompt action by the federal government to guarantee the continued safety and reliability of these key transportation arteries.”

Meanwhile, after Congress’ return from its summer recess, Beyer will host two town hall-style events in Arlington in the next two months, one on the future of social security and another focusing on women’s issues.

On Sunday September 10 from 3-5 p.m. at Drew Model School (3500 23rd Street S.), Beyer hosts “A Forum on Social Security in the 21st Century,” alongside Connecticut Rep. John Larson (D). A flyer for the event said the pair will discuss what they are doing to protect Social Security today and protect it in the future.

And on Saturday, October 14 from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Beyer will host his third annual Women’s Conference and Forum at George Mason University’s Arlington campus (3351 Fairfax Drive), entitled, “Moving Forward, Together – Impact & Influence.”

by ARLnow.com September 6, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Pixel, a Tibetan Terrier.

Here is what her owner Raquel had to say about her:

We love our pet, her name is Pixel. She is a Tibetan Terrier and is a 16 week-old puppy. Pixel is very playful, loves to jump, run and fetch balls. When she sees children, she gets very excited.

How she came into our lives is very special. It was December 19, 2016 and our beloved 17-year-old Shitzu Chicho had not been doing OK. His hips were displaced and he was under lots of pain. Unfortunately, we had to put him down. We were all sad, especially, my son, Nathan who would not stop crying. I decided to write about our beloved Chicho on Facebook.

The following morning, December 20, it was Nathan’s 8th birthday and a friend of mine who had seen my post of my deceased dog called me to say that she had a puppy for Nathan.

Her Tibetan Terrier had given birth to five puppies a few weeks prior and one of the people wanting one of the puppies had changed her mind. We rushed to my friend’s place and fell in love with the puppy-her. My son named her Pixel. He says he got the name from the Lego Ninjago movies; a lady robot.

Pixel loves walking at Bluebonnet park every day. She has this beautiful gait; walks with her neck long and straight and her legs seem to slide. We are planning to enroll Pixel in obedience classes so she can hopefully participate in a dog competition in the future.

What’s more important, Pixel is filling the void that Chicho left with her happiness and playfulness. She can play morning, afternoon and evening. Her excitement is contagious. We hope she lives with us for many years just like our beloved Shitzu.

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care is the winner of six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.

Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.

by Chris Teale September 6, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

A march from Charlottesville to D.C. against the “toxic ideology of white supremacy in our nation” is set to reach Arlington County this afternoon (Wednesday) before heading onto its final leg.

The March to Confront White Supremacy was organized by local religious leaders and social justice advocates. It began in Charlottesville on August 28 , following the death of Heather Heyer while protesting a white supremacist rally in the city.

Marchers are set to arrive at Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway) in Rosslyn at 3 p.m. today, then leave for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial for a 4 p.m. rally.

Arlington police said there are no planned road closures to accommodate the march, though ACPD and Virginia State Police will monitor it. Organizers said the march has attracted nearly 1,000 people for its final stages from Fairfax into D.C.

Since beginning in Charlottesville, organizers said they have overcome “inclement weather and threats to stop the march from state police,” on a route that took them 118 miles through “the largely white and rural Virginia countryside.” Today, the march is encountering rainy weather as it arrives at its destination.

In addition to countering the message of the white supremacists who rallied in Charlottesville, march organizers say they are calling “for the removal of President Trump and all other elected officials who embolden and support white supremacists and the end of white supremacist public policies.”

by ARLnow.com September 6, 2017 at 1:05 pm 0

Arlington County Police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred shortly after 5 p.m. yesterday (Tuesday.)

The robbery happened on the 1800 block of Key Blvd, in the Colonial Village neighborhood near Rosslyn. Police say a man with a gun and two others robbed a couple in a car of their belongings.

More from an ACPD crime report:

ROBBERY, 2017-09050034, 1800 block of Key Boulevard. At approximately 5:19 p.m. on September 5, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that three male suspects approached a male and female victim at their parked vehicle. One male suspect brandished a firearm and demanded the victims’ personal belongings. The three male suspects then fled the scene on foot with the victims’ possessions. The victims were not injured. Officers canvassed the area with negative results. The male suspect that brandished the firearm is described as a 20-30 year old black male, 5’11-6′ tall, approximately 180-220 pounds with an average build, wearing a dark colored sweatshirt. The second male suspect is described as a 20-30 years old, approximately 5’11-6′ tall, weighing 180-220 pounds with an average build, wearing a dark colored sweatshirt with his face covered by the hood. There is no description of the third suspect. The investigation is ongoing.

The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, after the jump.

(more…)

by Chris Teale September 6, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

The Arlington Republican Party is criticizing the Arlington County Board for issuing a statement condemning President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for undocumented immigrants.

The County Board joined other local and statewide elected officials in condemning Trump’s decision.

Members called the decision an “act of cruelty” that will “will tear apart families, cause substantial economic damage to our nation and further divide Americans.”

But in a statement of his own on Wednesday morning, Arlington GOP chair Jim Presswood said the Board’s criticism was “misguided” and that it is up to Congress to pass immigration reform legislation.

Presswood also said he is “optimistic” that young people, known as Dreamers, can stay in the United States.

Presswood said:

The Arlington County Board’s criticism of President Trump’s decision to phase out the DACA program is misguided.  The Board said in its statement released yesterday that the decision was an act of cruelty that will tear apart families.

The president, however, only passed the decision on the DACA issues back to Congress, where it rightfully belongs.  President Obama clearly overstepped his authority when he created the program in 2012 without any rational connection to a law enacted by Congress.  Congress, not the president, is the branch of government that should be making law.

Congressional Republicans, including Speaker Paul Ryan and Northern Virginia Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, support comprehensive immigration reform on issues related to DACA, border security, and enforcement.  Speaker Ryan said that he wants a permanent legislative solution for these issues “that includes ensuring that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country.”

I’m optimistic a solution will be quickly found that enables these young people to stay in our country.  It’s the right thing to do.

by Chris Teale September 6, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

A group of local residents have launched a petition against an Arlington County plan to remove more than 80 trees at the Donaldson Run Nature Area.

The nature area, part of Donaldson Run Park at 4020 30th Street N. between Military Road and N. Upton Street, is set to have a section of its stream restored early next year.

The project on Tributary B is designed to help prevent erosion by creating a new natural stream and re-connecting it with the flood plain. Opponents said the project would remove 81 trees, endanger another 52 and remove vegetation along 1,400 feet of Donaldson Run. Work to restore the stream’s Tributary A was completed in 2006.

But a group of residents have launched an online campaign against what it described as the “rapid loss of trees on public and private lands” and urged the county to reconsider.

“The Donaldson Run Tributary B [stream] restoration project, costing taxpayers over $1 million, sacrifices broad local natural environmental benefits for a narrow distant storm water purpose,” the petition reads. “This project must be put on hold until… comprehensive technical and cost/benefit reviews can be completed that include better alternatives that use the money most effectively to meet all the community’s goals.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition had received 14 signatures.

Opponents of the project will host an event on Sunday, September 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the nature area to hand out free saplings to “expand our urban forest.”

Photo No. 4 via petition, photo No. 5 via Google Maps.

by Chris Teale September 6, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

The three candidates for Arlington County Board agreed on the need for more affordable housing at a forum Tuesday night, but offered differing methods on how to achieve it.

Speaking at a forum hosted by the Arlington County Civic Federation at Virginia Hospital Center, the traditional kick-off for the fall campaign season, Audrey Clement, Erik Gutshall and Charles McCullough all argued more can be done.

McCullough, an independent endorsed by the Arlington Green Party, said the county must expand its use of rental assistance programs, especially for the likes of teachers and public safety workers like firefighters and police officers.

Democratic nominee Gutshall argued that the county should use its existing Affordable Housing Master Plan to create what he described as “missing middle housing” like apartments and townhouses for middle-income residents near Metro stations and along major thoroughfares.

“It’s a great formula to redefine our development paradigm and creates housing for the middle class,” he said.

Clement, another independent, argued against the “incredible boondoggle” of redeveloping garden-style apartments — in neighborhoods like Westover, where she lives — into luxury townhomes.

To help prevent continued losses of such housing, Clement said the county should designate more areas as Local Historic Districts to capture architectural heritage and be tougher on developers.

McCullough agreed that developers should be held to a higher standard and compelled to provide more affordable housing and other amenities.

“For too long, development has meant displacement,” McCullough said. “That should not be the way, but unfortunately that has become the Arlington Way.”

Talk of the so-called “Arlington Way” of engaging with residents and gathering extensive community feedback came up when the candidates discussed how to get more people involved in local issues.

Clement argued that the Democrat-dominated County Board deters participation, as does a sense that controversial agenda items are left to the end of monthly meetings.

“It is really an endurance contest and that is really what discourages public participation,” Clement said.

Another emphasis of Gutshall: helping more small businesses open and operate more easily in Arlington. That follows reports of businesses having difficulty navigating the county’s permitting and inspection bureaucracy.

Earlier in the forum, Gutshall argued that he would go beyond party politics, and that the county’s progress has been not down to Democratic values, but “Arlington values.”

Gutshall emphasized that he was not a “hand-picked choice” of his party, after Democrats’ use of a caucus to pick their nominee was criticized as undemocratic by Clement. Both independents argued they would be unencumbered by any need to play “party politics” if elected to the Board.

“I tend to believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and that’s where the voters are,” Clement said, noting that she previously was a member of the Greens but became “disillusioned” after it veered too far left.

“We need to be able to have an unencumbered voice for the issues we have right now,” McCullough added.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com September 6, 2017 at 8:55 am 0

September Is National Preparedness Month — Arlington is marking National Preparedness month by reminding residents to sign up for emergency alerts, create an emergency plan and maintain disaster supplies. [Arlington County]

Crash on Columbia Pike — A car veered off the side of Columbia Pike and knocked a light pole over on the sidewalk in front of Lost Dog Cafe. No serious injuries were reported. The aftermath of the crash was caught on video. [Facebook]

Wreck Closes Northbound GW Parkway — Northbound traffic on the GW Parkway was diverted onto Spout Run Parkway for part of the AM rush hour due to a crash this morning near the overlooks. [Washington Post]

Rainy Day Today — Arlington can expect 0.5-1″ of rain throughout the day today as a cold front passes through. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Chris Guyton

by ARLnow.com Sponsor September 6, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

Just Reduced banner

Each week, “Just Reduced” spotlights properties in Arlington County whose price have been cut over the previous week. The market summary is crafted by licensed broker Aaron Seekford of Arlington Realty, Inc. GET MORE out of your real estate investment with Aaron and his team by visiting www.arlingtonrealtyinc.com or calling 703-836-6116 today!

Please note: While Aaron Seekford provides this information for the community, he is not the listing agent of these homes. 

Labor Day is in the books… which means Fall is just around the corner.

In our neck of the woods, autumn equates to cooler temperatures (finally!), beautiful foliage and an opportune time to check-up on some key home features before Ol’ Man Winter shows his ugly face.

Long before we get another Snowmageddon, now is a great time to:

  • Check window sealings for cracks. You’ll want to ensure you have an airtight abode to keep the cool air out come wintertime!
  • Clean out the garage. Don’t pick a hot day (now) or cold day (later) to do this. Pick a nice Fall day and thank me later.
  • Give your deck some love. Extreme temps (hot or cold) can do a number on your deck. If you’ve been holding off on staining or sealing your deck, get moving before winter attacks!
  • Hopefully you’ll GET MORE out of your home with these tips. And if you’re still looking for a home in our area, give me and my team a shout and we’ll help you GET MORE out of your transaction, too.

As of September 5 there are 225 detached homes, 61 townhouses and 266 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 46 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week.

Here is this week’s selection of Just Reduced properties:

Please note that this is solely a selection of Just Reduced properties available in Arlington County. For a complete list of properties within your target budget and specifications, contact Aaron Seekford.

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