by ARLnow.com — May 31, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

Erik Gushall's "seniors" mailerUpdate at 4:30 p.m. — Gutshall’s campaign has published an explanation of its claims here.

Libby Garvey says she’s not “threatening the ability of our most vulnerable seniors to live in Arlington,” as alleged in a mailer from the campaign of County Board challenger Erik Gutshall.

The mailer, sent in advance of the June 14 Democratic primary, said that Garvey “wants to eliminate tax exemptions for seniors” and “repeatedly voted against funding for affordable housing.”

(Another Gutshall mailer alleged that Garvey, who formerly served on the School Board, did not act quickly enough to address the capacity crunch at Arlington Public Schools.)

Garvey is firing back at the “putting Arlington’s seniors at risk” mailer, posting a response on her website entitled “Setting the record straight: I want seniors to afford their homes.”

Here’s what Garvey wrote:

I work hard for an Arlington that provides affordable living options for all people, of many income levels and at all stages in their lives. We face many challenges in realizing this vision, and one particularly acute one is how to help seniors whose property tax bills are rising beyond their ability to pay because of the ever increasing value of their property. We need to make sure that they can remain in the homes where they built their lives and helped build our community.

My opponent in this election recently sent a flyer claiming that I am “threatening the ability of our most vulnerable seniors to live in Arlington.” I assure you that this claim is false.

Arlington has two major programs for senior tax relief. One defers taxes until the house is sold, at which time the back taxes are paid from the proceeds of the sale. I believe that we probably should lower the qualification levels for this program so that it is available to more seniors. The second program forgives the taxes entirely. Under this second program, when the home is sold, whoever sells — whether the senior or the beneficiaries after the senior’s passing — keeps the entire proceeds of the sale and never pays the taxes. This can provide quite a windfall to the beneficiaries.

I, along with the entire County Board by a 5-0 vote, asked our staff to study these programs to see if we are publicizing them adequately. We did this to ensure that everyone who needs them is benefiting from them. We also asked our staff to review the criteria for appropriateness to see who is truly benefiting from them. Among the questions we asked our staff to consider is the possibility of eliminating that portion of the tax forgiveness that goes only to beneficiaries, because the program was never meant to benefit beneficiaries — it is meant to benefit seniors. I want our staff to explore whether making this change will free up more money to enable us to expand both programs for our most vulnerable seniors.

by ARLnow.com — May 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm 0

Arlington School Board Vice Chair Nancy Van DorenLast week we asked the four candidates who are seeking the Democratic School Board endorsement to write a sub-750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them in the caucus on May 19 (tonight) and May 21.

Here is the unedited response from incumbent candidate Nancy Van Doren:

I am seeking re-election to the Arlington School Board and ask for your vote during the School Board Democratic Caucus May 19, 7-9 pm, at Drew Model School and May 21 at Washington-Lee High School from 11 am-7 pm.

Since joining the Board in 2014, I have brought family and community voices to the table to ensure that APS maintains the highest educational standards while expanding capacity for its growing student population.   In recognition of this work, I have been endorsed by A-PAC, the political action committee of the Arlington Education Association.

Last summer, my Board colleagues elected me to serve as Vice Chair. In this leadership role, I have maintained my focus on instruction and educational excellence. My primary goal is to prepare every student to be successful in our 21st century economy. To this end, I have ensured an increase in specialized interventions for struggling readers, expanded opportunities for students with disabilities to succeed alongside non-disabled peers, ensured high expectations for English language learners, and supported the expansion of foreign language classes at all elementary schools. I continue to support APS’ digital learning initiative, which provides all students with access to technology to strengthen their learning. I fully support the launch of Arlington Tech, a new STEM-centered high school program that includes hands-on learning, industry credentialing, and dual enrollment classes for college credit.

To meet APS’ growing capacity needs, I supported the internal renovation project at Washington-Lee High School that added 300 seats. I will support similar projects at Wakefield and Yorktown High Schools. I voted for additions and renovations at Stratford, Abingdon and McKinley Schools as well as for a new secondary school in Rosslyn and elementary school in South Arlington to be built and opened by fall 2019. I served as the School Board liaison to the APS/County Community Facilities Study, which developed recommendations to better coordinate County and School facility resources. I strongly support funding in APS’ 2016 Capital Improvement Plan to complete needed current and future projects on time and within budget. I will advocate for funds to increase high school and elementary school capacity as soon as possible, so APS can meet the needs of what will be a 30,000 student school system by 2022.

Today, my priorities remain clear:  build a strong infrastructure to meet the needs of our expanding school system while maintaining a keen focus on educational excellence for all our students.

Before joining the School Board, I volunteered on various APS committees covering instruction, transportation, and special education.   I served as Jefferson Middle School PTA president, founded the ArlingtonADHD and ArlingtonReading parent support groups, and co-founded the Arlington Latino Network.

Prior to moving to Arlington, I lived overseas with my husband, Jack Zetkulic, in Serbia, Sweden, and Switzerland. We have lived in Ashton Heights with our four children since 2004.  In addition to my Arlington school system experience, I had previously worked in business and communications. I spent 12 years in the private sector with Connecticut National Bank, The Travelers Companies, and The Hartford Courant in Hartford, CT. and then at Newsday in New York. I am a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and have a Masters in Management from The Hartford Graduate Center/ Rensselaer. I lived in Spain and Nicaragua and am fluent in Spanish.

by ARLnow.com — May 19, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

School Board candidate Tannia TalentoLast week we asked the four candidates who are seeking the Democratic School Board endorsement to write a sub-750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them in the caucus on May 19 (tonight) and May 21.

Here is the unedited response from Tannia Talento:

Thank you to ARLnow.com for the opportunity to engage Arlington voters on the issues facing Arlington’s schools.

I am running for Arlington County School Board because I believe I am the candidate best equipped to provide a voice for our students who are underserved and for our students who are looking for options after high school that may not include college. I want to ensure our students are not only college ready but career ready. I believe our school system is in a position to make sure every student is able to access a productive path to their dreams on graduation day, whether it includes college or something else.

I have campaigned all over our county this spring talking about issues that are on the minds of parents, students, community members and teachers: increasing access to mental health resources and education by working closely with existing county resources; closing our achievement gap by looking at our students individually and not in wide-ranging categories, so we can deploy our resources in a targeted and effective manner; and how we address our capacity needs with a growing student population and a tight fiscal environment while continually engaging our community earnestly and sincerely.

These issues are incredibly important to our students, parents, teachers and community. We have a great school system and the challenges we face today are born from the success of our schools and the success of Arlington’s smart growth policies. We should meet these challenges head on with the full engagement of our community; however, this requires a leader who understands the perspective of our underserved communities as well as the greater community and understands how to engage all of our community members including community members who are not traditionally engaged. I am that leader.

As a first generation American, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to advocate in our school system. My parents, who both immigrated from Guatemala, worked hard to provide everything they could, but still did not understand how to advocate for us in school. I faced many challenges and finished high school on an untraditional path. I moved to South Arlington and worked full-time in Crystal City at a law firm and worked my way up in my profession to become a legal secretary, while taking night classes at NOVA Community College and starting a family. While I didn’t finish college, I cultivated a trade and worked hard in my career, ultimately achieving success. I re-married and now have a blended family of 5 kids. I became actively involved in our schools 5 years ago, working on issues on curriculum through ACI, the Math Advisory Committee, and the Superintendent’s Master Planning Working Group; capacity issues through the Facilities Study Committee in 2015; and advocacy issues working on the ESOL/HILT Committee among many others which you can read on my website.

As a leader in our community, I want to make sure we are engaging every stakeholder where they live and work by pushing for open office hours which rotate between schools. In ensuring all corners of our community have a voice, we can arrive at the best solutions for everyone.

I hope to earn your vote tonight or Saturday. You can vote tonight at Drew Model School from 7pm to 9pm and on Saturday at Washington-Lee from 11am to 7pm.

by ARLnow.com — May 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm 0

Michael SheaLast week we asked the four candidates who are seeking the Democratic School Board endorsement to write a sub-750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them in the caucus on May 19 (tonight) and May 21.

Here is the unedited response from Michael Shea:

After years of serving on advisory committees to both Arlington Public Schools and the County government, I decided to run for School Board. My intention is to ensure that the high quality education our son has received is available for the students coming after him, as well as to help APS shift in some new directions so we can do even better. I’m an advocate for open data, problem-based learning, and new designs for our school construction.

The “new designs” theme encourages us to plan new schools and facilities in areas such as Rosslyn and Crystal City, even using former office space to convert into classrooms. Arlington has a high office vacancy rate and an urgent need for new school facilities. A continued focus on new construction in the rest of the County will cause us to lose park space and create more traffic.

To advocate for these ideas, I have knocked on thousands of doors all across Arlington. As I expected, I have had many conversations with parents who have had highly positive experiences with Arlington Public Schools. But I have also talked with families who are frustrated that we do not offer a more inclusionary learning environment for students with special needs. I have talked with teachers who are frustrated by excessive testing requirements, poor planning in the program to distribute notebook computers, and decisions where their voice is not heard. I have talked with families who are disappointed by the lack of socioeconomic diversity in many of our schools. And I have talked with parents and teachers who are disappointed that the quality of some facilities has deteriorated while our attention seems to be only on the new construction.

Learning from these frustrations and disappointments has affirmed my view that we can do better. We need to expand the conversations and affirm our commitment to a consistently high quality of facilities all across Arlington, to a more inclusionary learning environment for students with special needs, and to reducing testing time.

I have not been filling up the median strips of Arlington with campaign signs, so my name is not as widely known as some others. But my doorstep conversations with families has filled my life for the past several months. I better understand the problems we face and I thank everyone who took the time to talk with me. I am asking for your vote in the Democratic School Board Caucus to be an advocate for those ways in which we can do better and for protecting the high quality of education so many families have known.

by ARLnow.com — May 19, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

Chaz CrismonLast week we asked the four candidates who are seeking the Democratic School Board endorsement to write a sub-750 word essay on why our readers should vote for them in the caucus on May 19 (tonight) and May 21.

Here is the unedited response from Chaz Crismon:

I am currently a stay-at-home dad of a 1st grader with special needs. I volunteer at Hoffman-Boston Elementary where I see my son happily learning. My talents include teaching Social Studies, speaking Spanish and Portuguese, listening and building trust.

As a young parent, I am a natural choice to work with parents as they make educational decisions for their kids. I will effectively collaborate with parent groups seeking stronger relationships with the School Board. I am the only candidate who will be a PTA parent throughout my four-year term. Our leadership team will build trust with a young parent like me on board.

We should have a licensed public school teacher on the board. I share the progressive Democratic values of our revered departing educator. On a full-time and part-time basis, I have taught Social Studies, English to Speakers of Other Languages, and Elementary Spanish Immersion classrooms. I will make sure we support our teachers so they can continue doing great work! Our current board is losing its best teacher liaison. Our leadership team will build trust with a public school teacher like me on board.

As I listen to citizens, I find many who are happy with our schools. Most trust we will do better. These are my priorities:

We need more fairness in our school system.

I want to revamp the lottery system so it gives all parents of entering students an equal chance of enrolling at a choice school available to them. The current system favors in-the-know codebreakers. Access to quality special education, gifted services, arts, language and science programming should be consistent across all our schools.

We need more space for instruction and creative play.

Our classrooms are spilling into alcoves, workrooms, and auditoriums. We have successfully reconfigured and expanded existing school sites, but we must work with the County Board on better solutions now. I have more than a decade of experience as a real estate professional. We will acquire private land and build a new school in a welcoming neighborhood. We must be aggressive and vigilant, so we can take advantage of buying opportunities. My parents in Arizona gave up a farm to a freeway and two business locations to an arts district. Their properties were never for sale, but Arizona got it done. Arlington can get it done too in a way advantageous to all. It takes time to close such deals, but I will make sure our county leaders do not drag their feet. I will enjoy solving our real estate problems.

We need more inclusion opportunities for disabled students.

Creative staffing solutions are necessary to accommodate the unique needs of students. We must provide more support for students with special needs in general education settings.

We need to close the achievement gap.

We must hire and retain the best teachers and support staff. As we respect and cultivate ties to the home culture and languages of students, the achievement gap will narrow.

I will work to address the unique needs of each child by actively engaging with the community and the superintendent’s office on a fulltime basis. I will work to harness the power of volunteerism to benefit all our schools. We should expand the reach of our existing volunteer networks to bring in more help from people less connected to our schools.

I have run the gauntlet of challenging leadership and academic training, as an Eagle Scout/Boy Scout Leader, an LDS missionary in the Dominican Republic, a Stanford grad, a Marriott credit manager in Peru after 9/11, a Thunderbird MBA, and an entrepreneur. After overcoming a bout of cancer, I wound down my real estate company to devote myself to education. My rigorous teacher training program saw almost 2 in 3 people quit. I completed my program on time even as I dealt with cancer treatment. Today, cancer-free, I am as optimistic as ever that I can make a difference. I have had the tremendous support of my wife, church and Arlington Public Schools to pull me through many challenges. I know the difference a good public preschool and bus service can make for a struggling family. I feel blessed to be able to run hard with the talents and time I have to share. The School Board needs my energetic new parent and teacher perspective to serve students.

If you value grit, determination, and experience working with and helping people of all backgrounds and circumstances, then vote Chaz D. Crismon for School Board.

by Adrian Cruz — May 18, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

2016 Arlington County Board candidates Audrey Clement, Libby Garvey and Erik GutshallThe three candidates for Arlington County Board debated business and other public policy issues Monday, at a forum sponsored by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.

Both Democratic contenders — incumbent County Board Chair Libby Garvey and challenger Erik Gutshall — vowed to make it easier for companies to do business in Arlington, for companies large and small.

Early on, Garvey pointed to the difficulty Boeing encountered in trying to build its D.C. area headquarters in Arlington as an example of something that shouldn’t happen again.

“Boeing had planned to build a second building but found the process here so unpleasant that they said they’d never build another building in Arlington,” said Garvey.

Gutshall, who is the owner of a small business, Clarendon Home Services, focused on customer service as the key to improving the experience of operating a business in Arlington.

“I firmly believe that Arlington County needs leadership that will accept nothing less than a culture of get to yes,” said Gutshall. “Too many citizens and business owners continue to have frustrating horror stories of the lack of transparency, accountability and helpfulness of our county. I know because I have more than a few of my own.”

They also discussed transportation, mentioning the need for improved transit infrastructure.

“Transit is largely regional and we really need to make it easy with a single seat ride for folks from Fairfax to Loudon to Prince William to get into Arlington and D.C. This is how we will get more cars off the roads,” said Garvey.

A common theme raised by Gutshall was the need to make infrastructure investments.

For the sake of our economy and quality of life, we must be forceful advocates for a second river crossing for Metro,” he proposed. Gutshall and Garvey both spoke about transit on Columbia Pike; Gutshall has been critical of Garvey and the county’s lack of action following the cancellation of the Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar project.

I’ll also work to ensure that bus routes on Columbia Pike contribute to the achievement of our main street vision by providing providing frequent 6-10 minute service, 18 hours a day that connects our diverse residents and businesses efficiently to the places they want and need to go — beyond work including more north to south connections in the county.”

Said Garvey: “I am pleased with the proposal to expand the transit way from Crystal City to Columbia Pike essentially running the same route as had been planned for the streetcar and we will have a one seat ride the west end of Columbia Pike all the way west through Crystal City.”

Also discussed was the proposed gondola connecting Rosslyn with Georgetown. Garvey has expressed skepticism about the gondola, while voting to approve funds for a feasibility study. Gutshall said he supported the study.

“I think that the gondola study is worthwhile,” said Gutshall. “I have my reservations and doubts seriously that it will come to fruition… It seems that it was a relatively modest sum for Arlington to kick in a little bit of funds just to see if it has legs and if it might go somewhere. But I will be very honest. I don’t think in the long run its going to have legs.”


by ARLnow.com — May 17, 2016 at 12:20 am 0

Screenshot posted by the Mike Webb for Congress Facebook page

Congressional candidate Mike Webb has an explanation for why web browser tabs for two pornographic web pages could be seen in a screenshot he posted Monday afternoon.

Republican congressional hopeful Mike Webb (photo via Facebook)In an email to ARLnow.com, which he also posted to Facebook, Webb claims that he was testing the whether such sites could have been the source of the alleged “cyber attack” that prevented him from filing a report to the Federal Election Commission on time.

“Curious by nature, I wanted to test the suggestion that somehow, lurking out in the pornographic world there is some evil operator waiting for the one in a gazillion chance that a candidate for federal office would go to that particular website and thereby be infected with a virus that would cause his or her FEC data file to crash the FECfile application each time that it was loaded on the day of the filing deadline, as well as impact other critical campaign systems,” Webb said in a characteristically lengthy message that also included accusations of malfeasance against some critics and local Republican party members.

Google News search for "Mike Webb"Webb acknowledged that the episode has brought his quixotic campaign renewed attention, following his defeat in the race for the 8th District Republican congressional nomination. He insisted that it hasn’t cost him votes.

“We have not gained any new enemies or lost any friends today,” he wrote.

In fact, Webb said in a subsequent post, the whole thing has been an overall positive for his campaign.

“The truly amazing thing about today was that ‘I saw also the Lord, high and lifted up,’ and I was very much moved by the love and support of those who expressed their encouragement and support, even some in the national and local press,” he wrote.

Comments on Mike Webb's Facebook pageNational news outlets including Gawker, the Daily Caller and the New York Daily News have picked up the story. The media attention has driven scores of wisecracking commenters to Webb’s Facebook page. As of midnight, three of his posts Monday have garnered a combined 2,937 Facebook comments.

Webb, meanwhile, said he’s busy trying to get the signatures necessary to make the November ballot as an independent, which would allow him to face off against incumbent Rep. Don Beyer (D) and Republican nominee Charles Hernick.

“As you know, we have to get 1,000 signatures in the next few weeks to get into the fight, and we are making great headway in this effort because people are very frustrated with our current politicians and their antics, as I probably should be, too,” he wrote.

by ARLnow.com — May 16, 2016 at 3:20 pm 0

Screenshot posted by the Mike Webb for Congress Facebook page (highlighting added)

A screenshot posted on the Mike Webb for Congress Facebook page is going viral for all the wrong reasons.

The post was intended to suggest that an Arlington County Republican Committee officer might have had something to do with a prank call Webb received. Instead of getting that point across, as of 3 p.m. the post had some 80 shares and 60 comments on Facebook due to an apparent inadvertent inclusion: the screenshot shows two web browser tabs associated with pornography websites.

Mike Webb for Congress Facebook postWebb, an Arlington resident, was soundly defeated in his recent bid for the Republican nomination to challenge Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), but has announced his intention to run as an independent. In his voluminous press releases and social media posts, Webb has blamed the local Republican establishment for his defeat. There’s no evidence, however, to support the suggestion that the individual named in the post might have prank called him.

A Google search for the web page titles in question — “LAYLA RIVERA TIGHT BODY” and “IVONE SEXY AMATEUR” — point to a number of pages on various porn websites. Webb has not responded to a request for comment sent earlier this afternoon.

Some of those commenting on the Facebook post seemed incredulous that it had not yet been taken down.

“Still up 2 hrs later. Priceless,” said a post from more than an hour ago.

Some commenters, however, suggested the post might be a stroke of inadvertent genius.

“Refreshing for a politician to air their vices publicly instead of trying to hide it till a leak,” said one. “Keep up the good work.”

“What if he was desperate to take his social media platform to the next level?” asked another. “Genius. Tight booty porn for the win.”

While many comments were critical, others took a somewhat more forgiving tone.

“We all f–k up from time to time,” said a Facebook user, “but I’ve never used Yahoo instead of Google.”

Last month ARLnow.com reported that Webb had failed to file a report to the Federal Election Commission on time and had blamed the failure on a “cyber attack.”

Update at 12:25 a.m. — Webb said in an email to ARLnow.com that he was testing the porn sites for viruses.

Photos via Facebook

by ARLnow.com — May 16, 2016 at 10:05 am 0

Erik Gutshall debates at an Arlington Young Democrats eventArlington County Board candidate Erik Gutshall has picked up the endorsement of the political action committee that represents Arlington teachers.

Gutshall, who is challenging County Board Chair Libby Garvey for the Democratic nomination, is, according to APAC, “a consensus-builder, with an eye to transparency and engagement all along the way.”

Garvey formerly served on the Arlington School Board.

From a press release:

APAC, the political action committee of the Arlington Education Association, has recommended Erik Gutshall for the County Board seat to be contested in the Democratic primary June 14th. The APAC Steering Committee was impressed with Mr. Gutshall’s vision for the county, viewing his ideas as both far-sighted in scope and inclusive of all segments of the community. APAC Steering Team co-chair Gerry Collins noted that Gutshall has applied his knowledge of the county and experience at the planning level to lay out some well-considered ideas on housing, transit, schools and revenue streams.

Collins added, “Erik Gutshall approaches decision-making as a consensus-builder, with an eye to transparency and engagement all along the way. We support his view of the schools as both institutions of opportunity for our students as well as assets for community activities and events, and are encouraged by his support for school funding.”

Gutshall, Garvey and independent candidate Audrey Clement will face off during an Arlington Chamber of Commerce candidate forum tonight from 6-8 p.m. at the Rosslyn Hyatt (1325 Wilson Blvd). The event is being moderated by ARLnow editor Scott Brodbeck

by ARLnow.com — April 29, 2016 at 2:45 pm 0

Erik Gutshall and Libby Garvey debate at an Arlington Young Democrats eventThe two candidates for the Democratic Arlington County Board nomination will face off in a candidates forum on Monday, May 16.

The forum is being organized by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. It will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Hyatt in Rosslyn (1325 Wilson Blvd). ARLnow.com, a Chamber member, is the event’s media sponsor.

During the forum, incumbent Libby Garvey and challenger Erik Gutshall will be asked a variety of questions, with a special focus on local business.

Arlington Chamber of Commerce logo“This business-themed candidate forum will feature a moderated discussion of topics important to the Arlington business community, and will provide each candidate with the opportunity to engage with local business leaders and address the key issues for the business community,” the Chamber said. “This event will also offer attendees the chance to gain an inside look into the candidates’ views on business in Arlington County.”

(Perennial independent candidate Audrey Clement, who has qualified for the ballot again this year, has also been invited to participate.)

In a debate earlier this month, Gutshall lamented that Arlington County’s economic development efforts are “geared towards the types of businesses that are going to fill office buildings,” more so than helping small businesses. Garvey said the county is “aware that small businesses are having issues” and is holding a small business summit next week.

Meanwhile, the county’s high office vacancy rate — some 8 million square feet of office space is vacant in Arlington — remains a significant issue.

This candidate forum is open to the general public. Registration is $10. Light refreshments will be provided.

The Arlington County Democratic Committee is planning its own candidate debate from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4. The debate will be held at GMU’s Founders Hall (3351 Fairfax Drive).

by ARLnow.com — April 26, 2016 at 3:15 pm 0

Republican congressional hopeful Mike Webb (photo via Facebook)Mike Webb, who’s running for the Republican congressional nomination in Virginia’s Eighth District, which includes Arlington, says a “targeted cyber attack” prevented him from filing his quarterly campaign finance report.

The Federal Election Commission sent Webb’s campaign a notice on April 22, stating that it had failed to file its April quarterly report.

“Failure to timely file this report may result in civil money penalties, an audit or other legal enforcement action,” the letter says. “The civil money penalty calculation for late reports does not include a grace period and begins on the day following the due date for the report.”

As of today, there was still no quarterly report for January through March 2016 on the FEC page for Webb’s campaign committee. A previously-filed financial report includes a note from Webb apologizing for it being late.

Webb’s campaign, meanwhile, said in a press release that it had not filed the April report due to technical difficulties it attributed to computer hackers. Here’s what the campaign said in the lengthy April 21 press release, one of more than 100 it has sent to local reporters since December.

… this morning, sources close to the campaign of Arlington resident Mike Webb, the putative front-runner in the Republican Party nomination race in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District disclosed that they have been the victim of what appears to have been a targeted cyber-attack.

Shortly before the filing deadline for the quarterly disclosure reports to the Federal Election Commission, the Webb campaign indicated that it began to experience glitches with the filing software, making it difficult to input information. However, on the deadline filing date, the software would just crash whenever the data file was loaded, thereby blocking access to all previously entered data. The Webb campaign indicated that it made several attempts to re-install the program, and to install the program on a separate computer, but the attempts to address and remedy the situation appeared to confirm that there was nothing wrong with the software, but rather that the data file had somehow been corrupted.

“The Webb team had no further comment this morning regarding the incident, but did indicate that they were continuing to work with the FEC on submitting the report and recovering the lost data,” the campaign itself said in a press release, before continuing on for two additional paragraphs.

Webb is running against environmental consultant Charles Hernick for the Republican nomination. A district convention will be held on May 7 to select a nominee. The winner will face long odds against incumbent Democratic Rep. Don Beyer in the fall.

While Webb has participated in Republican-sponsored events leading up to the convention, his campaign has adopted an outsider’s stance, often speaking out against the local GOP establishment. In a press release today, in fact, Webb said he has notified local police and the FBI about a persistent Twitter critic who goes by the monicker “GOP Establishment.”

Accusing the anonymous Twitter user of “extortion,” Webb claims that he gave law enforcement the name of “every potential suspect from the long list of establishment officials and Young Republicans.”

Webb, an Arlington resident, has been idiosyncratic in other aspects of his campaign, particularly on social media. On April 20 he posted an image wishing his supporters a “Happy 4/20.” On January 11 he accused ARLnow of “censorship” for our moderation of the comments section of a Dec. 23 article about his candidacy.

by ARLnow.com — March 17, 2016 at 7:00 pm 0

School Board candidate Tannia Talento Courtney Hill, the former campaign manager of Arlington School Board candidate Tannia Talento, is planning legal fight after she said Talento didn’t pay her what was owed in her contract.

Hill is a community activist who serves on Arlington’s Commission on the Status of Women and on the steering committee of the Arlington County Democratic Committee. A single mother of two, Hill says she’s being evicted from her home after Talento refused to pay her. She is suing Talento, who refutes the allegations.

“At the onset of my campaign, Ms. Hill was employed as my campaign manager,” Talento told ARLnow.com, in a statement. “Shortly after we began our work together, I realized we had different expectations for the direction of the campaign. Her employment was eventually terminated and unfortunately we had a contractual disagreement which will be settled judiciously in our court system.”

The two parties are scheduled for a hearing in Arlington General District Court on April 11. The eviction proceedings against Hill were filed Feb. 16. It’s the second case against Hill filed by an Arlington landlord in three years, according to court records.

“Because of this unfortunate breach of contract and disheartening chain of events, I am now facing an eviction and will have to uproot my daughter who’s in middle school,” Hill wrote. “The past few years have been very difficult for my family, and I cannot imagine having to upend/end all of the things I’ve worked so hard for. This is not right and should not be supported by anyone who purports they are advocates for women, children, families and minorities.”

Hill said she worked as Talento’s campaign manager from Dec. 1 to Jan. 31. She said Talento “attempted to bully” her into changing the terms of her contract, but she refused due to provisions that would have prevented her from working on other campaigns and would have imposed a confidentiality agreement. Talento then refused to pay her full contract, according to Hill.

“Working on campaigns is what I do and how I pay my bills,” she said. “How dare she threaten and try to dismantle my livelihood?”

Hill, who is black, also accused Talento of an “unwillingness to meet with black leaders,” saying she was “constantly questioning the black community’s concerns/issues in regards to equal and quality education.” She further accused Talento of “having [a] very poor work ethic” and not doing “much of the leg work required to run an effective campaign.”

“I am running for the Arlington School Board, because I firmly believe in advocating for quality education and the success of every student in Arlington Public Schools,” countered Talento, who is the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants. “It is important that we ensure equitable education for every child regardless of socioeconomic status, race, religion or gender. My vision will ensure a continued focus on the Whole Child and will make strides in closing the achievement gap. Therefore it is unfortunate that Ms. Hill is undertaking this present course of action.”

Talento has picked up the endorsement of a number of current and former elected officials, including Del. Alfonso Lopez, former County Board member Mary Hynes and retiring School Board Chair Emma Violand Sanchez.

“Tannia has demonstrated integrity and passion for advocating all students in Arlington,” Sanchez said in a statement today. “I firmly believe she is one of the most ethical leaders that I know, and she will be an exceptional School Board Member. I am disappointed that these false allegations are being spread to discredit a highly qualified School Board candidate.”


by ARLnow.com — March 2, 2016 at 11:10 am 0

Voters line up at the Democratic caucus at Washington-Lee High School (Jan. 2012)

Arlington Democrats will have four School Board candidates to choose from at an endorsement caucus in May.

The “unassembled caucus” — also referred to as a “firehouse primary,” with an instant run-off voting process used to determine the winners — will be held over two days:

  • Thursday, May 19 from 7-9 p.m. at Drew Model School (3500 23rd Street S.)
  • Saturday, May 21 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street)

There are two School Board seats in contention, one of which is up for grabs with the retirement of School Board member Emma Violand-Sanchez. The candidates vying for the Democratic endorsement are:

Prior to the caucus, a candidate debate will be held at the Arlington County Democratic Committee monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6 at the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street).

by ARLnow.com — March 1, 2016 at 11:20 pm 0

Voting sign at Walter Reed Recreation CenterArlingtonians voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio in a primary election that saw Republican turnout more than double since 2008.

Overall turnout was up — 42 percent this year to 40 percent in 2008. Fifteen percent of registered Arlington voters cast a ballot in the GOP race, while 27 percent voted in the Democratic race. That compares to 7 percent GOP and 33 percent Democratic turnout in 2008.

Tonight’s unofficial Arlington results on the Democratic race were:

  • Hillary Clinton: 66.85% (25,561 votes)
  • Bernie Sanders: 32.80% (12,541 votes)
  • Martin O’Malley: 0.35% (134 votes)

The Republican results:

  • Marco Rubio: 49.67% (10,944 votes)
  • John Kasich: 22.56% (4,971 votes)
  • Donald Trump: 16.78% (3,698 votes)
  • Ted Cruz: 7.87% (1,734 votes)
  • Ben Carson: 1.73% (381 votes)

Statewide, Clinton carried the state 64.3 percent to 35.2 percent for Sanders. On the Republican side, Trump won in Virginia with 34.8 percent of the vote to 31.9 percent for Rubio and 16.9 percent for Cruz. Across all Super Tuesday states, Clinton and Trump claimed enough victories to retain their frontrunner status in the presidential race.

On a night when Arlington ran out of preprinted GOP ballots due to unexpectedly high Republican turnout, there was speculation that many Democrats crossed over — Virginia has an open primary — to vote for a “non-Trump” candidate.

Enthusiasm among local Republicans also appeared to have driven the high turnout.

After the jump, the Arlington County Democratic Committee statement, from party chair Kip Malinosky, on the primary result.

by ARLnow.com — March 1, 2016 at 6:45 pm 0

A woman walks out of the Walter Reed Recreation Center after voting (file photo)Arlington County has run out of preprinted, state-issued Republican presidential primary ballots due to much higher-than-expected GOP voter turnout.

County elections officials had to begin photocopying the ballots in order to keep up with voter demand, Arlington Registrar Linda Lindberg confirmed to ARLnow.com. Ballot photocopies are legal, carry the Arlington seal and are authorized by the election board, but cannot be machine scanned and must be counted by hand, Lindberg said.

“No precinct has been out of ballots at any point in time,” she noted, dispelling rumors to the contrary.

In the absence of paper ballots, Lindberg said polling places also have the option of allowing voters to use an electronic ballot marking device, intended for those with disabilities. Ballots cast with the device are machine scannable, but there’s only one device per polling place.

As of 6:30 p.m., elections officials reported that total turnout had reached 38 percent of registered voters, with 24 percent voting in the Democratic primary and 14 percent voting Republican. That’s double the final GOP turnout in Arlington in 2008.

Polls close in Virginia at 7 p.m., but major Metro delays on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines tonight may keep some late voters from casting ballots.

File photo


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