The Arlington County Democratic Committee (Arlington Dems) elected Democrats in all 14 Arlington elections on Tuesday, including four contested races, while simultaneously playing an oversized role statewide in the historic flip of both houses of the General Assembly.
In the contested races, Arlington returned Janet Howell to the District 32 state Senate seat, Alfonso Lopez to the House of Delegates District 49 post, and Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey to the Arlington County Board.
Unopposed Democratic victors in Arlington included: State Sens. Adam Ebbin (30th) and Barbara Favola (31st); Dels. Mark Levine (45th); Patrick Hope (47th); and Rip Sullivan (48th); Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti; Sheriff Beth Arthur; Revenue Commissioner Ingrid Morroy; Treasurer Carla de la Pava; and School Board Member Reid Goldstein.
“Arlington Democrats congratulate all 14 Democrats on their victories in Arlington today,” Arlington Dems Chair Jill Caiazzo said. “We’re confident they will continue to advance progressive policies that will lead to a more prosperous, sustainable and just county and commonwealth for all.”
With 10 of 14 races on the Arlington ballot uncontested, Arlington Dems were able to deploy significant volunteer power across the state in the quest to restore Democratic majority control in state government for the first time in 26 years.
Hundreds of Arlington volunteers canvassed, called, texted, and wrote to voters as far away as Virginia Beach in an effort to flip the legislature blue. All told, Arlington Dems provided campaign support to 26 candidates outside of Arlington, 16 of whom were victorious Tuesday at 10 p.m. EST. Four races remained too close to call.
“The extensive and exhaustive volunteer efforts statewide of Arlington’s Democratic volunteers were nothing short of remarkable,” Caiazzo said. “Arlingtonians demonstrated that they have a clear vision of where Virginia should be headed–and it’s not in the direction that the extreme Trump-GOP is taking the country. We’re eager for the accomplishments that this new Democratic legislative majority will achieve.”
“Heading into the critical 2020 presidential race, we’re especially excited about the tremendous grassroots enthusiasm that fueled Democratic victories statewide. This historic victory belongs to the grassroots activists as much as it belongs to the Democratic Party,” Caiazzo continued. “Arlington Dems thank them all, including the Arlington branch of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Arlington Action Group, Indivisible Arlington, Network NoVA, Our Revolution Arlington, Virginia Grassroots Coalition, and We of Action. We look forward to working with them, as well as our strategic partner, the D.C. Democratic Party, to return a Democrat to the White House next year.”
Republicans held razor-thin margins in both houses heading into this election, and the commonwealth was the only state in the country in which a Democratic sweep was possible. In addition to likely making reforms on issues ranging from gun safety to women’s, voter, and reproductive rights, the sweeping Democratic victory is regarded as further repudiation of Trump and the Republican Party, and a bellwether for Democrats heading into the 2020 presidential election.
Voter turnout was considerably stronger in the county Tuesday than in 2011, the most-recent election with no national or statewide races. In Arlington, 56,250 voters cast ballots Tuesday, which constitutes 36.9% of active voters. In comparison, the 2011 general election, which featured the same races, drew 35,356 voters, or 26% of then-active voters. Arlingtonians took full advantage of absentee voting in this election: slightly more than 5,100 votes were cast absentee, or about 9% of total ballots cast, compared to 2,248, or 6%, in 2011.
Arlington Community Federal Credit Union (ACFCU) announced today that it will close its Ballston Branch, located at 4121 Wilson Boulevard, on December 31, 2019. The branch has been open since 2013.
The credit union will open a new branch in late 2020 to replace the Ballston location, with a commitment to finding a more modern facility to serve its growing membership.
The Ballston staff will relocate to ACFCU’s Columbia Pike and Glebe Road branches until the opening.
“Our team will miss serving members in Ballston, where we have been proud to be part of this neighborhood’s exciting growth,” stated Karen L. Rosales, ACFCU’s CEO. “We look forward to opening a new, innovative branch to continue our mission to empower the financial lives of our members in Arlington and beyond.”
As Arlington’s credit union, ACFCU supports the County through partnerships with non-profit organizations, financial literacy programs and in-school branches in Arlington Public Schools, and financial wellness seminars open to the public.
Arlingtonians have shown their love for ACFCU’s phenomenal service and community focus, voting the credit union “Best Community Bank” in Arlington Magazine’s Best of Arlington 2018/2019 and 2016/2017 polls, and “Best Bank” in Sun Gazette’s readers’ poll in 2019 and 2017–with a 2018 Sun Gazette award for Rosales as “Best Banker.” ACFCU also won the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s “Best Large Business 2019” award, as well as “Federal Credit Union of the Year” in 2015 from the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU).
The National Park Service (NPS) has postponed the previously announced weekend closure of Arlington Memorial Bridge. The closure is now scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15 and will last until 5 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 18. The change will allow the construction contractor to resequence work to prepare for the next phase of construction.
The total rehabilitation of Arlington Memorial Bridge began in fall 2018 and remains on schedule. So far, workers have:
- Replaced the concrete structures that support the southside of the bridge.
- Installed new pre-cast concrete panels to replace half of the bridge deck.
- Placed new steel beams on the southside of the bridge.
- Cleaned, repaired and reinstalled the bridge’s historic granite balustrade.
The bridge’s 10-ton load restriction is in effect for the duration of the project.
Check online for updates at go.nps.gov/MemorialBridge.
It is a dream come true for millions of Americans who every now and then wish they could literally “turn back the hands of time.” They will get that chance and their wish in the wee hours of Sunday morning, at 2 o’clock, to be precise. In addition, the end of Daylight Saving Time (DST) also means getting an extra hour of sleep. Yet there are some side effects of setting our clocks back one hour, including disrupting our body’s internal clock and disturbing our sleep/wake cycle and circadian rhythm. As a result, area residents and drivers must be prepared for potential challenges the annual time change entails each fall, such as changes in sleep patterns that may increase chances of drowsy driving and shorter days, which means driving home in the dark and on caliginous roadways, warns AAA.
Truncated days, moonless nights, and obsidian streets will pose risks and hazards for all roadway users; including motorists, vehicle occupants, school children, joggers, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and moped and e-scooter riders. Some studies show “the biggest impact of setting our clocks back one hour can be felt on some of the skills that affect the quality of driving – concentration, alertness behind the wheel, and reaction time to potential hazards.” A word to the wise: “Go to bed at the same time you normally would, so you can benefit from that extra hour of sleep.” Sleep-deprived drivers cause more than 6,400 deaths and 50,000 debilitating injuries on American roadways each year, warns the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).
“During 2018, the number of crashes involving pedestrians on the roadway and the walking path peaked in the months of October (284 crashes), November (292 collisions) and December (288 incidents) in the Washington metro area. The common denominator was the temporal factor,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Public & Government Affairs Manager. “While many will enjoy an extra hour of sleep this weekend, few commuters and motorists realize the added dangers that can come as the result of a time change – especially when they are behind the wheel. Although we gain an hour of sleep, our sleep patterns are disrupted. Drifting off to lullaby land behind the wheel can result in unsafe drowsy driving episodes.”
“The end of daylight saving time in the fall is a time of year that many people look forward to; after all, an extra hour of sleep is a hard thing not to like. However, this one-hour change may have some negative effects when it comes to road safety,” according to InsuranceHotline.com. It cites a report from the Insurance Bureau of British Columbia (ICBC) that previously reported “there is generally an increase in the average number of collisions during the late afternoon commute in the two weeks following the end of daylight saving time, compared to the two weeks prior to the change.”
It is the sum of all our fears. Most motorists (96%) identify drowsy driving as very or extremely dangerous, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index. Yet, despite high rates of perceived danger and personal/social disapproval regarding drowsy driving, about 27% of drivers admit to having driven while being so tired that they had a hard time keeping their eyes open, at least once in the past 30 days. Drowsy driving is a factor in an average of 328,000 crashes annually, including
109,000 crashes that result in injuries and 6,400 fatal crashes, previous AAA Foundation research shows.
“Wake up everybody. No more sleeping in bed. No more backward thinking. Time for thinking ahead.” Sleep is a mystery. Researchers continue to delve into whether “both sleep loss and behavioral changes occurring with the time shifts for Daylight Saving Time (DST) significantly impact the number of fatal traffic crashes in the United States.” One such study in the Sleep Medicine journal revealed, “There was a significant increase in accidents for the Monday immediately following the spring shift to DST. There was also a significant increase in number of accidents on the Sunday of the fall shift from DST.”
“Everybody responds to Daylight Savings Time differently,” said Leah Scully, Traffic Safety Specialist, Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education. “Drivers should not rely solely on their bodies to provide warning signs of fatigue. Instead, they should prioritize getting plenty of sleep in their daily schedule. Be aware that the shorter days this time of year can create more drowsiness behind the wheel.”
Beware of a world of darkness. “It would take hundreds of thousands of moons to equal the brightness of the sun.” Well, “the fall and winter months bring less daylight and darker commuting hours, which can lead to more crashes between cars and pedestrians or bicyclists,” warns the fall 2019 Street Smart Program. It also warns: “Fewer daylight hours spell danger for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers.”
AAA Mid-Atlantic Tips for Drivers
- Slow down.
- Turn on your headlights to become more visible during early morning and evening hours.
- Keep vehicle headlights and windows (inside and out) clean.
- Do not use high beams when other cars or pedestrians are around.
- Yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks and do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.
Bright lights. Big city. Washingtonians are already sleep-deprived. It is a natural fact. “When drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians have spent the past eight months commuting in a well-lit setting, it may be hard to adjust and compensate for less light and poor weather conditions,” notes InsuranceHotline.com. See and be seen on stygian streets. This time of year, street lighting is a light-saver. The District of Columbia has “approximately 75,000 street lights on streets, alleys and public spaces.” Yet as science writers explain, “Even with a full moon, the amount of light reaching the earth is over 100 trillion times less than during the day.”
AAA Mid-Atlantic Tips for Pedestrians and Bicyclists
- Cross only at intersections. Look left, right and left again and only cross when it is clear. Do not jaywalk.
- Cross at the corner – not in the middle of the street or between parked cars.
- Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. If you have to walk on a road that does not have sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
- Evaluate the distance and speed of oncoming traffic before you step out into the street.
- Wear bright colors or reflective clothing if you are walking or biking near traffic at night. Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.
- Avoid listening to music or make sure it is at a low volume so you can hear danger approaching.
- Bicycle lights are a ‘must have’ item for safe night riding, especially during the winter months when it gets dark earlier.
“You are getting sleepy.” It not as strange as it seems after the time shift. “Rolling back the clock may sound like a great opportunity to stay up later, however, the time change can impact the quality of your sleep and affect your body’s internal clock,” advises the ICBC. “Whether you’re walking, cycling or driving, take advantage of the extra hour, sleep well, and be proactive on the road as the days get shorter.”
Today, Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08) sent a letter to the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration expressing concerns about its recent announcement to make changes to flight paths at DCA to accommodate Secret Service needs without giving meaningful consideration to community interests. Beyer urged FAA to delay implementation of the proposed changes to DCA flight procedures in order to engage the community.
“I write with concerns about the “Prohibited Area 56 National Security Project” that the FAA and the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) presented to the DCA Community Noise Working Group (CWG) this past spring. I understand that the proposal would alter Runway 19 approach and departure procedures at Washington National Airport (DCA) in order to reduce incursions into restricted airspace. However, I remain concerned about the process – specifically, the failure to give meaningful consideration to community interests – involved in a decision that will further concentrate the airplane noise in Arlington, Virginia…
“I join my Maryland colleagues in urging the FAA to halt implementation of the proposed changes to DCA flight procedures (both approach and departure changes) until it can demonstrate a need for these changes, as well as considering the concerns of the affected communities per the standard environmental review process.”
A signed copy of the full letter can be found here.
The Renegade, the new two-story coffee shop, restaurant, and live music venue from chef Patrick Crump is opening this Thursday, Oct. 24 at 3100 Clarendon Blvd. in Arlington.
Taking place on Thursday, Oct. 24, The Renegade will be hosting a grand opening party to celebrate their first official day in business. Guests are invited to check out Clarendon’s newest hot spot during a full day of food, drinks, and live music.
- Chef and owner Patrick Crump will serve his full menu of international eats from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Highlights include Red Curried Collard Greens, Hatch Chili Queso with Fried Yucca, and Spicy Korean Chicken.
- Happy hour will run from 4 to 7 p.m. and features $4 cans, $5 draft beers, and $6 wines.
- There will be three live musical guests in the house for the grand opening party:
5 p.m. – Kara & Matty D (acoustic set)
7 p.m. – Bryen O’Boyle (formerly of Mr. Greengenes – acoustic set)
10 p.m. – Lauralea & Tripp Fabulous (modern rock cover band)
- A late night menu of munchies will be available from 10 p.m. until close, and will feature Crump’s famous Hummus, Guacamole, Spicy Korean Fried Chicken, and Lumpia.
3100 Clarendon Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201
Thursday, Oct. 24
11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.
There is no cover charge for live music on Thursday, Oct. 24 or Friday, Oct. 25.
The Renegade will be open for coffee service at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. The coffee bar will serve Stumptown coffee and be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
An Arlington political consultant who served as the treasurer of multiple Political Action Committees (PACs) pleaded guilty today to lying to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) about approximately $32,500 in payments of PAC money that he directed to himself and a close friend.
According to court documents, Scott Buchanan Mackenzie, 66, from 2011 through 2018, in the Eastern District of Virginia and elsewhere, Mackenzie was the treasurer of approximately 52 PACs, including Conservative StrikeForce, Conservative Majority Fund, Tea Party Majority Fund and Conservative Majority SuperFund. In that role, Mackenzie was responsible for complying with campaign finance laws and regulations and for filing accurate disclosure reports with the FEC that detailed the PACs’ true income and expenditures.
Person A was a resident of Winchester, Virginia, who had a personal relationship with Mackenzie and with whom Mackenzie shared a joint bank account. Between October 2011 and June 2014, Mackenzie caused approximately $32,500 in payments to Person A from bank accounts belonging to Conservative StrikeForce, Conservative Majority Fund and Conservative Majority SuperFund. Mackenzie falsely reported to the FEC that Person A received these payments for work that Person A had purportedly provided to Conservative StrikeForce and Conservative Majority Fund. In fact, as Mackenzie knew, Person A–an umbrella retailer with no experience in political fundraising–did not provide any of the purported services to these PACs. The funds were deposited into the bank account that Mackenzie shared with Person A.
In addition, Mackenzie also made false statements to the FEC to conceal the unlawful use of funds raised by Conservative Majority Fund and Tea Party Majority Fund to pay at least $172,200 in legal fees that Conservative StrikeForce and affiliated companies had incurred from a civil lawsuit brought by a former gubernatorial candidate for Virginia.
Finally, Mackenzie admitted that he participated in a scheme to use conduits (also known as straw donors) to make contributions to candidates running for federal public office. Mackenzie used conduits to make these contributions in order to evade limits that federal law placed on individual campaign contributions, as well as prohibitions against corporate contributions.
As part of his guilty plea, Mackenzie agreed to pay $172,200 in restitution to victims of his scheme to illegally funnel money between PACs to pay legal fees.
Mackenzie pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the FEC and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when sentenced on Feb. 21, 2020. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Brian A. Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and Timothy R. Slater, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly R. Pedersen and Trial Attorneys Bill Gullotta and John Taddei of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section (PIN) are prosecuting the case. Former PIN trial attorney Molly Gaston provided significant assistance in the case.
Kathrine Switzer, who in 1967 became the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon – wearing bib number 261 – and is the founder of the global non-profit 261 Fearless, will be in Arlington this Friday to run with the 261 Fearless Club DC Metro/VA.
The short, easy run will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington. It is free and open to the public; all are invited.
“I’m thrilled to take the mission and legacy that Kathrine Switzer built over the last 52 years and continue to create opportunities for women to connect through running in our local communities,” said Rosy Spraker, co-director of the DC Metro/VA club, who lives in Lorton. “We hope to continue to build strong, fearless women through our 261 Club and unite these women with like-minded women locally and throughout the world.”
Spraker will be among 53 participants – including 17 from the Metro DC area – representing 261 Fearless in the Marine Corps Marathon, 10K or 50K. A dozen are members of either the Arlington or Lorton branch of 261 Fearless Club DC Metro/VA. Both welcome new members to the social, non-competitive run club, and no experience is necessary. The Lorton club meets from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Sundays in Newington Heights Park, 8590 Heller Road, while the Arlington club meets at noon on Sundays at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Iwo Jima Memorial Park.
261 Fearless, a global non-profit organization, uses running as a vehicle to empower and unite women through local running clubs, education programs, communication platforms, and social running events. Breaking down the barriers of geography, 261 Fearless aims to create a global community for women runners of all abilities to support, encourage, and inspire each other toward a positive sense of self and fearlessness. The growing organization has more than 50 clubs on five continents.
“We aren’t about speed,” said Edith Zuschmann, CEO of 261 Fearless. “We’re about need: the need for all women to feel empowered through discovery of their own inner strength.”
For more information, visit 261Fearless.org or find the DC Metro/VA club @261FearlessClubDCMetro on Facebook and Instagram.
As part of his ongoing commitment to the enforcement of antitrust protections, Attorney General Mark R. Herring today announced that he has joined a bipartisan coalition of 47 attorneys general in investigating Facebook’s business practices to examine compliance with state and federal antitrust laws.
“Big tech and social media companies like Facebook must comply with antitrust laws that promote competition and choice, and consumer protection laws that guard the privacy and personal data of users,” said Attorney General Herring. “Given Facebook’s nearly unprecedented influence in so many sectors of the economy and political process, this bipartisan coalition of attorneys general is committed to ensuring that Facebook is complying with the law and meeting its obligations.”
As part of his efforts to prioritize antitrust enforcement, Attorney General Herring serves on the Antitrust Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) and his Antitrust Unit Manager also serves as the Chair of the NAAG Antitrust Taskforce. He recently announced that he is also investigating Google’s business practices to examine compliance with state and federal antitrust laws. Additionally, he filed suit to block a proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint because of its potential to reduce choice, eliminate competition, and raise prices on mobile phone service.
Attorney General Herring has also filed two wide-ranging lawsuits against generic drug manufacturers for alleged antitrust violations that raised the cost of prescription drugs, and sued the maker of Suboxone, an opioid treatment medication, for illegally keeping monopoly profits.
In 2015, Attorney General Herring challenged a proposed merger of Sysco and US Foods that would have raised food prices for Virginians, and in 2017 he successfully blocked the anticompetitive proposed mergers of Aetna and Humana, as well as Cigna and Anthem, a proposed merger in which the Richmond, Virginia market was identified as the most negatively impacted market in the entire country.
Bridge girder installation is occurring this week during daytime hours for the new Washington & Old Dominion Trail Bridge over Route 29 (Lee Highway) in Arlington. This work is taking place west of Lee Highway, and will not impact roadway or trail users.
Work will continue the week of Oct. 28, and will require nighttime hours and an additional trail detour. In addition, on Wednesday, Oct. 30, lane closures and temporary traffic stoppages will occur on Lee Highway.
Details for Monday, Oct. 28, through Thursday, Oct. 31:
Girders for the new W&OD Trail bridge will be installed over Lee Highway and adjacent to the W&OD Trail during nighttime operations, weather permitting.
- Monday through Wednesday nights, the W&OD Trail will be detoured between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. between Lee Highway and N. 19th Road. Trail users will be detoured to N. Westmoreland Street. (See detour map below.)
- On Wednesday night, lane closures on Lee Highway will occur between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. with multiple temporary stoppages of up to 20 minutes beginning at 11 p.m. for beam placement over the roadway. Stoppages will occur on Lee Highway at Washington Boulevard and N. Westmoreland Street.
- Girder installation and detours will continue on Thursday night if necessary.
The new bridge is being built as part of the Transform 66 Inside the Beltway Eastbound Widening Project and will provide trail users a safer crossing at this busy intersection. Upwards of 2,000 people use the trail in this area near mile marker 5.5 on peak days. The bridge is expected to open in fall 2020.
Learn more about the project at inside.transform66.org.
The National Park Service (NPS) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands today celebrated the start of a project to restore the Netherlands Carillon and add three bells to elevate its status to “grand carillon.”
Ambassador André Haspels of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and George Washington Memorial Parkway Superintendent Charles Cuvelier, National Park Service (NPS), rang hand-held bells to celebrate the beginning of the project and the continued friendship between the U.S. and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
“The Netherlands Carillon is an integral part of Washington’s monumental landscape with a multitude of purposes but for the Dutch, the Carillon symbolizes our gratitude to the US for assistance during and after World War II and represents the friendship our nations continue to share based on the values of freedom, and democracy,” Ambassador Haspels said.
Today the first of 50 bells was removed by crane to make its journey to the Netherlands. Dutch company Royal Eijsbouts will restore the bells. The three new bells and improvements to the carillon instrument, including a new music console and keyboard, are made possible by donations to the Embassy.
“The carillon restoration symbolizes the continued partnership between the Netherlands and the United States,” Superintendent Cuvelier said. “While the bells are being restored in the Netherlands, the National Park Service will repair and replace steel cladding, improve the structure, remove rust and repaint the carillon.” The project is scheduled to be completed in 2021.
The Netherlands Carillon project also signals the start of the Embassy’s initiative, “75 Years of Freedom.” The campaign will include a series of events to commemorate the end of World War II, highlighting the U.S. contributions to the liberation of the Netherlands and celebrating Dutch freedom and transatlantic ties since 1945. On April 4, 1952, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands visited the U.S. to present a small silver bell to President Truman as a token of the carillon that was to come.
In 1954, the first bells were installed in the carillon, which was then located in West Potomac Park. Since 1960, the Netherlands Carillon has stood adjacent to the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington Ridge Park. Throughout the year, people attend live concerts of jazz, pop and patriotic music performed by carillonneurs. The bells can also be heard during automated concerts and chiming every 15 minutes. The Embassy marks Dutch Remembrance Day every May 4 by observing a moment of silence and placing a wreath at the base of the carillon.
During today’s ceremony, Diederik Oostdijk, author and historian, spoke about the carillon’s history and how it continues to foster an international relationship through public art.