88°Partly Cloudy

by ARLnow.com — July 24, 2015 at 6:30 pm 3,678 0

Police car lightsA man is in jail after allegedly shouting racial slurs and flashing a weapon at a two men near Columbia Pike.

The incident happened around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, on the 4600 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. Police say two African American men were having a conversation in the Carlton condominium parking lot when a stranger walked up to them, “took a fighting stance” and started cursing and yelling racial slurs at them.

He then pulled a shiny object out of his pocket, which the victims believed was a weapon. The man also yelled “Columbia Pike Locos,” an apparent reference to a gang the man is affiliated with, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm.

The victims, who are twin brothers, called police, who quickly arrived on scene, found the suspect nearby and arrested him.

The suspect, 37-year-old Chad Michael Bailey, refused to answer officers’ questions, Malcolm said. Police say they found a small pair of scissors in his pocket.

Bailey was charged with two counts of assault as a hate crime and one count of criminal gang participation. He’s currently being held at the Arlington County jail.

Assault as a hate crime is a misdemeanor that comes with a minimum six month sentence if convicted. Unlike the charge of assault and battery, simple assault does not require any allegation of physical harm to the victim.

 

by ARLnow.com — July 24, 2015 at 3:50 pm 1,847 0

Electronic traffic safety sign in Clarendon

An electronic road sign in Clarendon is reminding drivers to be aware of and yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.

The Arlington County Police Department-owned sign was placed near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Edgewood Street, where traffic is approaching Clarendon’s main bar district.

The sign flashes three separate messages: “yield to people in crosswalk,” “watch for bikes on your right” and “people don’t have airbags.” It’s part of an ongoing ACPD traffic safety campaign, said a police spokesman.

“We’re trying to modernize the message that we send in regards to traffic safety,” said Lt. Kip Malcolm. “Most mundane traffic safety messages get overlooked by motorists. Anything we can do to help promote or draw attention to their driving behaviors is going to get the message across faster and make it more memorable.”

In 2013 the electronic sign was placed at an accident-prone on-ramp, at Route 50 and Washington Blvd, with the simple message: “don’t hit the car in front of you.”

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 24, 2015 at 2:45 pm 0

Weekend Wine and Beer Guide logo

Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). This column is written by Dominion owner Arash Tafakor.

When a consumer asks for a suggestion on a wine, I consider a lot of things before making the right suggestion, such as price, customer’s taste, occasion and food pairing. With the summer heat here for now and BBQs in full force, I’ve been suggesting Zinfandels. Most of the time the consumer says, “No, no, no, I don’t want sweet or a white zinfandel.” I have to quickly point out I’m talking about a red zinfandels, which are fruit-forward, medium-bodied, delicious red wines. Zinfandel happens to be California’s oldest grape, and, although not originally from California, its roots have been traced to be from Croatia or Italy’s Puglia region depending on whom you ask.

Zinfandel is also the same grape as the Italian red wine called Primitivo. The word primitivo in Italian means “early one.” The red wine and its grapes are called primitivo because of its early ripening nature. Classic Primitivos from Italy tend to have a darker color with rich and concentrated black fruit notes, which is different from California Zinfandels that tend to have bright, juicy, red fruit flavor notes. This difference in style is directly correlated with the difference in climate. Northern California, like most Zinfandel growing regions, has cooler temperatures, and Puglia (Southern Italy) has much warmer temperatures. Both styles are easy drinking red wines with great fruit that offer an alternative to your everyday Cabernet Sauvignon. California Zinfandels are more often than not are termed “Old Vine.” Grape vines usually produce grapes for about 120 years. Production decreases and grape clusters get smaller as the vines age. Winemakers claim, as vines get older, the grapes yielded are of better quality and more concentrated flavor.

Here are a few of my Favorite Zinfandels:

Brazin wine (Courtesy of Arash Tafakor)

Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 Lodi, California

Easily one of our favorite and best selling Zinfandels we carry. At 15 percent a.b.v, Brazin is big and bold with dark fruit flavors and hints of vanilla and cinnamon on the long finish. Brazin’s big bold flavor is intense but is balanced out with it’s acidity and smooth tannins making Brazin great with slow roasted pork, grilled sausages and baby back ribs.

Ridge Three Valleys (Courtesy of Arash Tafakor)

Ridge Three Valleys Zinfandel 2012 Sonoma, California

Ridge Three Valleys Zinfandel is a blend of Zinfandel grapes from all over Sonoma County as well as Petite Sirah, Carignane, Mataro, Alicante Bouchet and Grenache. These additional grapes provide character to the wine making it lighter and less jammy than the more stereotypical California Zinfandel. This doesn’t mean this wine doesn’t burst with flavor. Hints of blueberry, plum and cherry make this wine a steal and enjoyable for years to come.

Gnarly Head (Courtesy of Arash Tafakor)Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 Lodi, California

You can find Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin almost anywhere, but that Is not going to stop us from carrying it. Frankly for less than 10 dollars this wine is a home run. The newly released 2013 vintage has received some great press as well. Smooth and full bodied with tasty flavors of dark fruit, Gnarly Head zin is a great companion for a summer BBQ.

by ARLnow.com — July 24, 2015 at 1:45 pm 4,309 0

Flightrader24 track of possible surveillance plane over Arlington

A small prop plane was flying circles over Arlington, Alexandria and D.C. yesterday, and one tipster says it was probably an FBI surveillance plane.

The Cessna 182T Skylane plane was tracked by the website Flightradar24, flying around parts of Arlington. The Associated Press reported last month that the FBI uses that exact model of plane, equipped with high-resolution video cameras and cell phone trackers, to conduct surveillance flights over U.S. cities.

The AP also reported that such flights sometimes orbit Reagan National Airport.

“I stumbled on [the website] yesterday and much to my surprise there was one of those planes flying over Arlington,” said the tipster. “Just thought others in Arlington would be curious to know it is happening here as well as all over the country as the AP points out.”

The Washington Post reported in May that a Cessna 182T, registered to a company in Bristow, Va., was tracked flying over Baltimore during the Freddie Gray riots.

ARLnow.com has fielded occasional questions from readers over the past year or so about small aircraft seen circling overhead. The flights have struck readers as odd because with few exceptions FAA regulations limit aircraft flying over the immediate D.C. area to government aircraft and flights arriving and departing at Reagan National.

There are instances, however, when the FAA allows commercial general aviation flights over the restricted air space for aerial photography or research purposes.

by ARLnow.com — July 24, 2015 at 12:45 pm 607 0

It’s the last full weekend in July, and as the humidity rises again, now’s a great time to ditch the outdoors for some cooler, indoor house-hunting.

As always, see our real estate section for a full listing of open houses. Here are a few highlights:

1001randolph1001 N. Randolph Street
1 BD / 1 BA Condominium
Agent: Meredith Sterrett, Century 21 New Millennium
Listed: $367,000
Open: Sunday from 2-4 p.m.

1763hayes1763 S. Hayes Street
2 BD / 2 Full, 1 Half BA Condominium
Agent: Jake Sullivan, Re/max Allegiance
Listed: $535,000
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

2318rolfe2318 S. Rolfe Street
4 BD / 3 Full, 1 Half BA Townhouse
Agent: Barbara Wood, Long & Foster Real Estate
Listed: $699,900
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

1862patrickhenry1862 Patrick Henry Drive
4 BD / 3 BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Grant Doe, Long & Foster Real Estate
Listed: $849,999
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

1907kenmore1907 N. Kenmore Street
4 BD / 3 BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Kerry Schull, Optime Realty LLC
Listed: $1,099,900
Open: Sunday from 2-4 p.m.

571920th5719 20th Street N.
4 BD / 3 Full, 1 Half BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Joseph O’Hara, Washington Fine Properties LLC
Listed: $1,235,000
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

by Heather Mongilio — July 24, 2015 at 11:45 am 863 0

Recycling is being made easier in county offices and facilities.

The county is starting a new program that no longer requires residents and county staff to separate different recyclable items.

Instead, the county is introducing new recycling containers for all recyclable materials, including paper, glass and plastic. The new blue bins will be placed in all county facilities and offices over the next couple of weeks.

Here is what Acting County Manager Mark Schwartz said about the new recycling changes, in a memo to employees:

Good News. We are implementing a new recycling program in all County offices and facilities. Now all your recyclable items — plastic, metal, empty food and beverage containers, paper, cardboard and glass — can be placed in one recycling container, eliminating the need to separate materials for collection.

This is good news for you and for sustaining the environment. As you may know, one of the core values listed in our vision statement is sustainability. At the end of last year, the County Board was presented with the Environmentally Preferable Practices and Purchasing Work Plan to encourage sustainable practices County-wide. This plan was put together by a team of staff from various departments and is a great example of the kind of ideas that help us do a better job.

You may have noticed blue desk-side recycling bins at various County-owned or occupied buildings. If you haven’t received a blue bin yet, you will in the coming weeks. There will also be new co-located trash and mixed recycling containers used as sorting stations in shared areas, such as hallways and break rooms.

Be on the lookout for these new containers and instructions on how to properly use them in your building. I challenge you to actively participate in the County’s recycling effort and increase the facilities’ recycling rate by the end of the year. With everyone’s participation, I am confident that County staff can continue to lead by example in the area of sustainability. For help with your conservation efforts, please contact the Solid Waste Bureau.

Thank you for your support,

Mark Schwartz

P.S.  Some facts on the recycling:

  • The County has a recycling rate goal of 47 percent; currently County facilities only recycle around 23 percent;
  • Recyclables cost less to process than trash; therefore, increasing recycling and reducing waste helps lower the County’s operating costs;
  • Nearly 70 percent of the materials disposed as trash in an office can actually be recycled; and
  • Recycling helps preserve natural resources and reduces greenhouse gases.

by ARLnow.com — July 24, 2015 at 10:50 am 1,751 0

Arlington County fire truckThe Arlington County Fire Department responded to a fire on a balcony at a Crystal City apartment building this morning.

Around 10:15 a.m., firefighters were called to the Concord apartment building at 2600 Crystal Drive for a report of a fire on a fifth or sixth floor balcony.

Firefighters found a computer on fire on the balcony. According to scanner traffic, a resident had brought the computer outside after it caught fire in the apartment.

Firefighters are now working on smoke ventilation while the county fire marshal investigates the exact cause of the fire.

by ARLnow.com — July 24, 2015 at 10:00 am 2,238 0

Arlington County Police are looking for a serial office burglar who’s suspected of taking items from “numerous” offices along Arlington’s Metro corridors.

Police say the images above are from a burglary this month on the 2300 block of Clarendon Blvd in Courthouse, steps from county government headquarters and just a couple of blocks from police headquarters.

From an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Burglary/Larceny Unit is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a suspect involved in numerous office burglaries in the metro-accessible corridors of Arlington County to include an early July 2015 incident in the Courthouse area.

The suspect forced entry into an office suite located in the 2300 block of Clarendon Boulevard, at 7:40 a.m. on July 7, 2015. The lone suspect was captured on surveillance video and later entered a suite where he stole an unsecured laptop computer. He then placed the laptop into a black and blue colored backpack before leaving the scene.

The subject is described as a black male approximately 5’11” – 6′ tall, weighing 190 pounds with a large build. In several incidents, it appears that the suspect is carrying a small towel in or on his hand.

The suspect targets vulnerable office suites in the early morning hours as employees are beginning to arrive or in the later afternoon after most employees have gone for the day. He appears to target mainly electronic devices.

If anyone has information on the identity and/or whereabouts of this individual, please contact Detective James Stone of the Arlington County Police Department’s Burglary/Larceny Unit at 703.228.4245 or at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

by ARLnow.com — July 24, 2015 at 9:05 am 1,404 0

"Electric bridge" (Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi)

Republicans Want Bond Changes — Arlington Republicans want big ticket items like the Long Bridge Park aquatics center separated out of county bond issues. For the past 20 years, Democrats on the County Board have typically bundled big items with smaller bond-funded projects under broad categories like “parks.” Republicans say items valued at more than $25 million should be put to voters separately as a matter of good governance. [InsideNova]

Portion of Wilson Blvd to Be Renamed, Temporarily — The portion of Wilson Blvd between N. Lynn Street and N. Moore Street in Rosslyn will be renamed “Marine Corps Marathon Drive” for the month of October. The County Board approved the measure this week. Runners will pass the renamed road at the beginning of the Oct. 25 marathon and then will return to it for the race’s finish festival. The Marine Corps Marathon is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Reminder: Issue With Galleries on iOS — ARLnow.com is still working to solve an issue that’s preventing our image galleries from loading images on iOS device like the Apple iPhone and iPad. The technical issue follows our implementation of security measures that will make your browsing experience on our site more secure by serving pages exclusively via HTTPS.

Flickr pool photo by David Giambarresi

by Heather Mongilio — July 23, 2015 at 4:30 pm 3,110 0

The Rosslyn of the future is envisioned to be more walkable, more dynamic and more green with the County Board’s approval of the Rosslyn Sector Plan and Western Rosslyn Area Plan (WRAP). However, with the approval comes the loss of open space from Rosslyn Highlands Park, which left some residents frustrated with the County Board’s process.

The County Board unanimously approved both plans after hearing resident and staff concerns. Residents generally supported the new sector plan, focused primarily on areas around the Rosslyn Metro station. The Western Rosslyn plan focused on the area around Fire Station #10, up the hill on Wilson Blvd.

It was the Western Rosslyn plan — which calls for a new fire station to be built by a developer, which is in turn building a mixed-use office and residential complex next to it — that attracted the most opposition.

“It is a shame that we felt we needed to pay for the fire station with public land, such an irreplaceable asset, especially here,” said resident Stuart Stein, who was involved with the WRAP study. “This has been an unfortunate process, but it is time to pass this plan.”

The lack of energy from the previously vocal WRAP opponents was reflected in the County Board’s responses. Although they all voted to approve the plan, Vice Chair Walter Tejada said that he came out of the vote “with a sense of resignation, almost, about the open space angle particularly.”

“We do need to move forward, but it really is a good lesson learned,” he said. “We just can’t let this happen again.”

With the Rosslyn Sector Plan, Board members were more enthusiastic.

“It’s been a bit of a marathon, but I think it was a good conversation and I think we have a plan that will work for all of us,” Chair Mary Hynes said.

Under the Rosslyn Sector Plan, the neighborhood will get a new open-air Metro entrance, Fort Myer Drive, Lynn Street and Wilson Boulevard will become two-way streets and the county will create a new esplanade that runs along Rosslyn’s eastern edge, connected to the Mt. Vernon Trail via a new pedestrian bridge. It also calls for a corridor along an extended 18th Street, which is envisioned as “a new central spine for Rosslyn.”

Green space has been a big concern for residents under both plans. The Rosslyn Sector Plan calls for a new park and redesign of existing parks, but residents fear that these are empty promises.

“Whether that green space really is developed in the amount that is projected is a question,” Rosslyn resident Diane Gorman said during public comment at yesterday’s recessed County Board meeting.

Parks and Recreation commission member Caroline Haynes urged the County Board members to make sure that plans for open space in Rosslyn were followed, adding that there are limited parks in the neighborhood.

“If we overbuild Rosslyn to the detriment of open space, views and daylight, the built environment will never reestablish those features,” Haynes said. “This plan represents the long-term view for Rosslyn, and should look to achieve long term value for the entire sector, not just for individual land owners and their interests.”

While the Rosslyn Sector Plan looks to create more open space and redesign existing Freedom and Gateway Parks, the Western Rosslyn plan will shrink Rosslyn Highlands Park to rebuild the fire station, a move that prompted residents to rally in protest, pleading with the County Board to save the park.

Under the plan, the county would take away 3,000 to 7,000 square feet of land from the park to allow for the fire station expansion and the Wilson School will be replaced with a larger, 775-seat secondary school building. However, the plan also calls for a 9,000 square foot park to be built across the street at the Queens Court affordable housing complex, which is slated for redevelopment.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — July 23, 2015 at 3:30 pm 3,325 0

Arlington County police carA fight over money led to an array of charges against a couple in Crystal City last night.

Police say the couple was having an argument about finances in a rental car around 6:30 p.m. They parked the car at the corner of 15th Street S. and Eads Street and proceeded to fight in the street, police say. The male suspect then “attempted to force the female back into the vehicle but was unsuccessful.”

Police were called and officers spotted marijuana and drug paraphernalia “in plain view inside the vehicle.” A search of the vehicle revealed a host of other drugs, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm.

The pair, both D.C. residents, were arrested. The woman charged with possession of marijuana. The man was charged with possession of marijuana, attempted abduction, domestic assault and battery, possession of MDMA with the intent to distribute and possession of methamphetamine.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm 407 0

Rental Report header

Editor’s Note: This biweekly sponsored column is written by Rick Gersten, founder and CEO of Urban Igloo, a rental real estate firm that matches up renters with their ideal apartments, condos or houses. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.

Once you’ve settled in to your home, job and life in Arlington you may be itching for something more. Civic and philanthropic work is just what you need to connect to others in your community with similar interests. While this area has plenty of organizations on the national level, we’ve highlighted a few local organizations in the Arlington area that may pique your interest.

Arts – If you have a passion for the arts, you can take a look at Arlington Arts, which helps serve as a liaison between the art community and the county of Arlington. Or if you are looking to connect directly with the artists in the community, check out Arlington Artists Alliance, which has events and classes for folks in the area.

Human Services – While Arlington is one of the more affluent communities in the country; we still have thousands of people in need every day. If you are looking to get involved in helping the less fortunate in the area you could look in to one of these organizations.

Political – No matter which side of the aisle you fall, there is likely a group in Arlington where you can meet up with folks of similar political opinions.

Pets – Of course, we can’t forget our furry friends and family members. You can help out at the SPCA of Northern Virginia or Animal Welfare League of Arlington. These organizations can almost always use help with adoptions, facility care, donations, fundraising and of course animal fostering. Just be sure to check with your landlord before fostering any pets, no matter how small.

Neighborhood Associations – If speaking up about sidewalk maintenance, new community facilities, park beautification or roadwork is your thing, you may want to look in to joining a neighborhood association. Renters are still able to help out, as most of these are different than homeowners associations, and as long as you are a resident of the area who wants to help, they will welcome your assistance. Check out this comprehensive list for those associations around Arlington.

Of course this is only a sampling of organizations in Arlington. Being so close to D.C., Arlington is a passionate and involved community with a host of causes waiting for eager volunteers. Here is a list of more organizations within the community in case we didn’t list one for you. Bottom line, volunteering will help you connect with other likeminded people, and give you something to do outside work to feed your soul. So get out, and get involved.

Have a rental-related question you’d like Rental Report to answer? Email it to [email protected].

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by Peter Rousselot — July 23, 2015 at 2:00 pm 1,007 0

peter_rousselot_2014-12-27_for_facebookPeter’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.

How significantly will Donald Trump’s candidacy for President affect Virginia politics? The closeness of two recent statewide elections provides clues.

Virginia has moved from reliably red to purple. Combining the closeness of these elections with the profiles of the four candidates involved (compared to Trump’s profile), we can get a sense of the likely impact.

Here are the Virginia statewide results from the two elections:

  • Attorney General 2013
    • Herring (D) 1,103,777
    • Obenshain (R) 1,103,612
  • U.S. Senate 2014
    • Warner (D) 1,073,667
    • Gillespie (R)     1,055,940

Ideology

Democratic and Republican partisans looking at these elections have argued that the opposing party’s candidate was an extremist. We could debate whether such partisan claims are accurate, but I believe a large number of Virginia voters perceived (accurately or not) that all four of these candidates were in the ideological mainstream of their respective parties. That perception was an important factor in the close outcomes.

Personal Qualities

Inclined to support candidates whom they perceive to be in the ideological mainstream, Virginia voters also have a historic tendency–other things being equal–to support candidates whom they perceive as sensible and pragmatic. Candidates who come across as too brash generally have not fared well. I believe large numbers of Virginia voters–rightly or wrongly– found all four of these recent statewide candidates to be sensible and pragmatic.

The Trump Effect

During the Republican Presidential primary process so far, Trump has been polling at or near the top (10 to 15 percent) nationally and in Virginia. In the most recent Post-ABC poll, his national Republican support spiked to 24 percent. Unlike all of the other Republican and Democratic primary candidates, Trump has the personal wealth to finance his campaign using 100 percent of his own money. He also has a personal brand name that is nationally known. These factors make him much more formidable than 2012 Republican Presidential primary candidates like Michelle Bachman or Herman Cain.

While it is highly unlikely that Trump can win the Republican Presidential nomination, it is very possible that he can stay in the Republican race for many months at or near at least the 10 percent Republican popularity level no matter how offensive his views strike the other 90 percent. Moreover, he has refused to rule out the possibility of running as an independent in the general election assuming he loses the Republican nomination.

Conclusion

The longer Trump stays in the race, the longer his views are publicized and associated with the Republican brand, the more damage he will do to Republican prospects–particularly in a purple state like Virginia. Based on recent statewide election results, only a little damage could be enough to sink the Republican Presidential nominee in Virginia in 2016.

by Larry Roberts — July 23, 2015 at 1:30 pm 391 0

Larry Roberts

Progressive Voice is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of their organization or ARLnow.com.

For decades, Arlington residents have enjoyed outstanding schools, parks, recreation facilities, libraries, public safety enhancements, transportation options, and a strong social safety net. All of these attractive features and others as well have been heavily subsidized by a strong commercial sector.

The strength of that commercial sector was due in part to: Arlington’s ideal location close to the nation’s capital and close access to the Pentagon; the buildup in federal spending over decades; and Arlington’s ability to attract and retain highly educated residents prized by employers.

We have also benefited from wise planning decisions and infrastructure investments that included, for example, multiple Metro stops that have become increasingly attractive to employers. We have managed to have a transportation system that helps people move around in Arlington and through Arlington while largely preserving single family neighborhoods.

For much of that period of time, Arlington’s ideal location and the educational achievement of its residents made Arlington largely immune from competition from other area jurisdictions.

Unfortunately, those days are gone.

Federal cutbacks are here to stay.

One need only see the dramatic transformations taking place in the District and in Tysons Corner to see how the public sector – working closely with the private sector – can attract commercial tenants, help increase revenues to support valued services without depending more heavily on homeowner taxes, and through planning and zoning measures help create more public space and better transportation options as part of those redevelopments.

Our residents are more critical of County spending and more sensitive to tax increases than has been true in the past 20 years. Yet many individual residents want the County to increase spending on items that matter most to them – for some that is schools, for others parks or open space, for others better pay for public safety personnel, for others it is added transit capacity, others want to ensure that housing is more affordable to young people, lower-wage workers, and those want to age in place. Others want more spending on services for mental health services. And others want expanded recreational facilities and community centers to meet growing demand.

Are we as County residents prepared to make difficult choices among these competing priorities? Will the answer be that services important to me should be maintained or enhanced, but spending important to others should be cut? Will housing prices continue to escalate and the tax rate be maintained? If so, there will be more revenues for the County government to provide services favored by residents. But it will also mean current cash flow challenges for many homeowners who won’t realize the profits from home price increases until they sell their homes.

The best answer in the past has been to rely on a thriving commercial sector to pay 50 cents of every dollar spent by the County.

That can still happen in Arlington, but only with a strong economic development effort and a dedicated effort to reduce commercial vacancy rates in the County.

Our commercial vacancy rate is somewhat deceptive. With a few exceptions, vacancies are concentrated in older buildings and those with fewer amenities or floor plans that require major adjustments to accommodate the needs of today’s workplace.

If we want to reduce those vacancies and leave more money available for school capacity and other priorities desired by Arlington residents, we will need Arlington’s economic development experts working closely and creatively with the private sector to identify the types of companies and actual prospects that can make use of Arlington’s existing inventory or we will need to find ways to encourage redevelopment of those dated or lower quality structures that are not likely to be successful in today’s marketplace.

Arlington is taking steps along this path. Those efforts should be encouraged. It is our best chance to keep services that residents strongly support and enhance our quality of life without adding to the burdens of homeowners.

Larry Roberts is an attorney in private practice. He chaired two successful statewide campaigns and served as Counselor to the Governor in Richmond. During his term as Chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee, Democrats won every election in Arlington.

by Mark Kelly — July 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm 1,005 0

Mark Kelly

The Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

This week, outgoing County Board Member Walter Tejada voted against the creation of an independent County Auditor. He blamed the new office on Republicans.

The County Auditor was not a partisan idea. It started with the Civic Federation. And as John Vihstadt pointed out, Delegate Hope, Governor McAuliffe and three other Democrats on the County Board ultimately supported it.

 Mr. Tejada contends the office only became a reality because Republican have passed out some sort of anti-government “Kool Aid.” Tejada further contends that hiring an auditor will only further cause a “timid and stagnant era of distrust.”

 Tejada’s speech reminds me of many of the speeches of his former Board colleague Chris Zimmerman. He often laid the blame of pretty much anything that went wrong at the feet of Republicans in Richmond or in Washington or in general.

 In Arlington, the math is simple. There are about two Democrats for every Republican and independent voters tend to lean to the left. The Democrats have essentially controlled the County Government for at least three decades. No amount of blaming Republicans for decisions in Arlington is going to change who is responsible for the decisions that have been made.

 If people in the community distrust Arlington’s government enough to elect a non-Democrat to the Board while Mark Warner was racking up 70% of the vote here, Mr. Tejada has no one to blame but himself and his own party. The Artisphere, the million dollar bus stop, the ill-conceived trolley, the overpriced dog parks and gold-plated aquatics center were not Republican ideas. And, Republicans alone were powerless to stop them despite our best efforts.

 The Zimmerman-Tejada line of thinking, though, really goes much deeper. They claim that Republicans hate all forms of government.

 Republicans believe government is necessary, but should be limited. We believe that government closest to the people is best. And we believe that government at all levels should be efficient, not wasteful. After all, the government is using money they have the power to take from us.

Republicans remember what our Founding Fathers warned us about — that the power to tax is the power to destroy. We know it is the duty of the people to be vigilant in watching carefully those who hold that power.

 So, if Mr. Tejada wants to oppose increased transparency and accountability and give credit to Republicans for creating the County Auditor’s office, then on behalf of the Republican Party — I accept.

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