Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Expensive Bike Parking Spaces — “Metro has spent nearly $20,000 per bike parking space at three bike facilities, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has found. Metro has spent over $5.9 million on the construction of 304 bike spaces at the three facilities… located at the College Park, East Falls Church and Vienna Metro stations.” [NBC 4]

Short Waits to Vote in Arlington — “Eager to avoid waiting in line while casting an early ballot? Try to avoid peak times and you should be fine. ‘Wait times are minimal,’ said county elections chief Gretchen Reinemeyer, with the exception of early morning and occasionally at lunchtime. Other than that, voters have been experiencing waits of 10 minutes or less, and ‘most people are just walking straight in to vote,’ she said.” [InsideNova]

Voters Flocking to Ballot Drop-Boxes — “Arlington has set up nine dropboxes for the secure collection of ballots at points across the county, representing another option for those who neither want to vote in person nor wish to trust the U.S. Postal Service with their ballots. That network has proved ‘very popular,’ Arlington elections chief Gretchen Reinemeyer said.” [InsideNova]

Biden Leads in New Va. Poll — “Former vice president Joe Biden leads President Trump 52 percent to 41 percent among likely Virginia voters, according to a new Washington Post-Schar School poll — roughly double Hillary Clinton’s margin of victory in the state in 2016. Biden’s advantage cuts across most demographic groups, with regional strength in the Northern Virginia suburbs and the Richmond area.” [Washington Post]

Local Nonprofit Featured on GMA — “Lights, camera, action! We had a wonderful experience filming with the Good Morning America team last week. The piece aired early this morning… We were thrilled by an unexpected and very generous gift from Amazon.com to help our residents weather the pandemic.” [Facebook, Vimeo]

Police Investigation Bill Signed into Law — “Gov. Northam has signed my bill (HB 5072) to empower the Atty Gen to conduct ‘pattern or practice’ investigations of police forces that appear to be violating constitutional rights, such as patterns of excessive force, illegal searches, or racially biased policing.” [@Lopez4VA/Twitter]

Pupatella Now Available for Delivery — “UBER EATS Now available at all locations – DC (Dupont Circle), both the Original Wilson Blvd spot and South Arlington, as well as Richmond too! We’ve partnered up with UberEats to bring you some of the best pizza around.” [@PupatellaPizza/Twitter]

Local Beer Biz Figure Dies — “Ben Tolkan, a popular figure in DC’s beer industry who was the subject of a Washingtonian feature story, died late Saturday night after a five-and-a half-year battle with cancer. He was 37.” Tolkan is survived by his wife, Abby, an Arlington County public school teacher. [Washingtonian]

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The Trump campaign famously has had boat parades. Over the weekend the Biden campaign organized a car parade in Arlington.

On Saturday, the first day of expanded early voting, Biden’s Virginia campaign held a Latino Car Parade “to encourage Latinos to vote early and highlight the importance of the Latino vote in Virginia.”

Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington), Arlington School Board member Tannia Talento, and School Board candidate Cristina Diaz-Torres participated in the morning event, which culminated in early voting at the Walter Reed Community Center near Columbia Pike.

“The Biden-Harris Administration will get this pandemic under control, protect Latinos’ access to health care, and reform our broken immigration system,” the campaign said in a press release about the event.

Those participating in the car parade and subsequent rally were required by the campaign to adhere to COVID-19 safety precautions, “including wearing masks, temperature checks, and practicing social distancing.”

President Trump’s reelection campaign, which is based in Rosslyn, does not currently have any publicly-listed events planned in Arlington.

The car parade was not the only local Democratic political happening of note this weekend. Elected officials, including Sen. Mark Warner and Rep. Don Beyer, visited several early voting locations on Saturday.

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Morning Notes

Civ Fed to Study County’s Form of Gov’t — “Herbert Hoover was residing – albeit somewhat tenuously – in the White House the last time Arlington had a major change in its governance structure. Nearly 90 years later, the Arlington County Civic Federation may get the ball rolling on bringing that structure into the 21st century.” [InsideNova]

Biden Signs Defaced, Stolen — “A big sign promoting Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign in Arlington’s Aurora Highlands neighborhood was defaced with pro-President Trump graffiti sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning,” reports Washingtonian. Separately, a recent Nextdoor post shows video of an older man stealing a Biden sign in the Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood. [Washingtonian]

Alleged Courthouse Flasher Arrested — “The victim was walking in the area when she felt the suspect allegedly grab her arm from behind her. As she turned around, she observed the male naked. The suspect then fled on foot. Arriving officers, with the assistance of Metro Transit Police, located the suspect in the area and took him into custody without incident.” [Arlington County]

ACPD Conducting Food Drive — Arlington County police “will be collecting donations at drive-thru donation stations on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  at three locations: Westover Baptist Church – 1125 Patrick Henry Drive, Police Headquarters – 1425 N. Courthouse Road, Giant Food – 2901 S. Glebe Road.” [Arlington County]

Crystal City Concert Series Goes Virtual — “With the health and safety of our residents and visitors in mind, Fridays at the Fountain is switching to an all virtual format. Tune in every Friday evening at 7pm, beginning August 7th, for an hour of live music streamed right to your home.” [National Landing BID]

High School Sports UpdateUpdated at 8:15 a.m. — “The Virginia High School League’s Executive Committee voted 34-1 Monday to delay the start of the 2020-21 high school sports season by implementing a compressed high school sports scheduling plan that would run as of now from Dec. 28-June 26. The schedule would begin with the winter sports season, starting in late December, followed by the traditional fall sports season and ending with the spring sports season.” [InsideNova]

Nearby: Break-ins at Eden Center “Multiple business were broken into at the Eden Center. Heavy police presence until further notice. Please avoid the area. No danger to public at this time. Any information to assist the investigation, please contact 703-241-5053. Thank you for your patience and understanding” [Twitter]

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President Obama addresses students and parents at Washington-Lee High School

President Obama is expected to make at least one more official trip into Arlington County this afternoon.

The president and Vice President Biden will be participating in an Armed Forces Full Honor Review Farewell Ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, according to a White House press schedule.

The event is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Drivers should expect temporary road closures near the base — Route 50, Washington Blvd, etc. — as a result of the visit.

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(Updated at 1:20 p.m.) Vice President Joe Biden stopped by Liberty Tavern (3195 Wilson Blvd) in Clarendon this morning to film a segment for a TV news show.

Biden was one of the guests on the MSNBC show Morning Joe, which filmed a roundtable discussion on gun reform at the restaurant.

It’s not the first VIP visit for the Clarendon restaurant. President Obama dined at Liberty Tavern on October 27, 2011. Biden, for his part, is no strangers to popular Arlington eateries. He had lunch at Metro 29 Diner on Dec. 7, 2012.

Biden and his security detail arrived at Liberty Tavern around 11:00 a.m., Clarendon Patch reported via Twitter. The Vice President left at 12:15 p.m., flashing a big smile and a thumbs up to a crowd that had gathered across the street. Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski stood outside O’Sullivan’s, across from Liberty Tavern, to see Biden’s departure.

Liberty Tavern co-owner Mark Fedorchak said Biden and the other guests were served pastries and coffee from Northside Social, which he and his brother Stephen also own.

Fedorchak said Biden “was very conversational” and talked with him about their mutual northeastern Pennsylvania roots. As it turns out, Biden used to enjoy going to the Scranton-area Circle Drive-In Theatre, which is owned by the Fedorchaks’ uncle.

That wasn’t the only incidental connection between Biden and Liberty Tavern’s ownership group. Restaurant co-owner and local developer Brian Normile got a chance to apologize to Biden for accidentally driving a ball into his golf foursome during a recent trip to Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

The Vice President apparently didn’t mind. According to Fedorchak, Biden wrote a gracious note on a menu before leaving the restaurant.

“Next time lunch, thanks for the hospitality,” it said.

Photos by ARLnow.com except as noted

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Biden Visits Metro 29 Diner

Vice President Joe Biden hosted a lunch at Arlington’s Metro 29 Diner (4711 Lee Hwy) this afternoon, to discuss the country’s trek toward the fiscal cliff.

Biden arrived at the restaurant around 1:15 p.m. to meet with seven people who say their finances would take a hit if the country goes over the fiscal cliff.

One of the attendees, Anne Marie Munos, lives in Falls Church. She was chosen based on her online response to the White House request for citizens to discuss why Congress should extend middle class tax cuts.

“I can’t see how we can afford to pay more taxes,” wrote Munos. “We certainly won’t be able to boost the economy because our buying power will suffer even more than it already has.”

Biden said it would take “15 minutes” for a bill to get finished if Congress agreed to let taxes on the wealthy increase.

“This is no time to add any additional burden for middle class people,” said Biden. “The downside of going down this cliff… is real.”

The lunch visit was not announced in advance, and other customers were not prevented from using the restaurant during the visit. Biden and his guests were taken to a separate section of the restaurant and guarded by security. Patrons were allowed to enter the restaurant after going through a security check, and a few dozen gathered around to listen to the Vice President speak.

After finishing lunch with his guests and spending some time taking photos with other customers, Biden left Metro 29 Diner around 3:00 p.m.

 

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