Changes for Former Department Store? — The future of the former Kann’s department store on Fairfax Drive, which later became a law school and then became part of George Mason University, is being discussed by GMU and county officials. An earlier plan to raze the aging building and construct a new one fell through. [InsideNova]
Mentors Honored at County Board — A pair of “Connect with Kids Champions” were honored for their mentorship work with Arlington youth at Tuesday’s County Board meeting. [Arlington County]
Va. Joining Immigration Lawsuit — Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced yesterday that Virginia plans to join a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order on immigration. “You’ve made Virginia proud today,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) in response to the announcement. [Virginian-Pilot, Twitter]
House Hunters Home for Sale — A townhouse in Nauck that was previously featured on the HGTV show “House Hunters” is back on the market. The home at 2553 Kenmore Court, in the Shirlington Crescent community, is listed at $824,900. The couple featured on the show, TV news producers Allison and David Gracey, bought the home in 2010 for $672,781, records show. [Zillow]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell will be coming to Arlington for a talk with George Mason University’s Tyler Cowen next month.
The event is happening on Monday, Feb. 27, from 5-6:30 p.m. at GMU’s Founders Hall Auditorium (3351 Fairfax Drive).
Glaldwell, the author of Outliers, The Tipping Point, and Blink, among others, will “join Tyler Cowen for a wide-ranging dialogue,” according to the event’s website.
Imagine arriving in a new country and facing the immense challenge of adjusting to a culture and a language that are different from the ones you have always known.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri — a first-generation immigrant to the United States who moved to Italy in her forties — has experienced firsthand the emotional and physical challenges that come with immigrating to a new country. Those are the experiences Lahiri draws on in her books, which force readers to consider the surprising and complex trials faced by immigrants and their families.
On Monday, December 5, Jhumpa Lahiri will join economist Tyler Cowen at George Mason University’s Arlington campus for a wide-ranging conversation as part of the Mercatus Center’s Conversations with Tyler series. Admission is free and the conversation will be open to the public.
Lahiri’s distinct talent and unique point of view make her a natural fit for Conversations with Tyler, a discussion series that engages today’s top thinkers in one-on-one conversations with economist Tyler Cowen. Past guests include tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel, renowned academic Camille Paglia, and “super forecaster” Nate Silver.
Of Lahiri, Tyler Cowen says, “Her books have delighted millions, drawing together history, romance, philosophy, global interconnections, and most of all the drama of human life.”
Lahiri’s work also explores the tension many immigrants feel between the cultural values of their homeland and those of their adopted home. In a piece for the New Yorker, she wrote of feeling a “continuous sense of estrangement” from both her native country of India and America–the country where she was raised.
This sense of “exile” drove her to adopt another language entirely. Instead of attempting to embrace the American culture and language that felt as foreign as her native Indian, Lahiri moved to Italy and learned to speak and write in Italian. She embraced an entirely different culture and language and continues to be a successful author in Italian.
Lahiri’s most recent work, In Other Words (2016), an autobiography written in both English and Italian, explores the often emotionally fraught links between identity and language. Once again drawing upon personal experiences, Lahiri continues to strike a chord with readers.
Lahiri won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her first published work “Interpreter of Maladies” (1999). She also received the PEN/Hemingway Award for best fiction debut of the year and an O. Henry Prize. In 2015, the National Endowment for the Humanities at the White House granted Lahiri the prestigious National Humanities Medal. She is currently a professor of creative writing at Princeton University in the Lewis Center for the Art’s Program in Creative Writing.
Register for “A Conversation with Jhumpa Lahiri” on Monday, December 5. The preceding was written and sponsored by the Mercatus Center.
Thanksgiving Travel in D.C. Area — More than 1 million D.C. area residents are expected to leave town for Thanksgiving, and 9 out of 10 of them will be traveling by car. The worst day and time for traffic in the region is expected to be next Tuesday afternoon. [Washington Post]
Arlingtonians Spend Big for the Holidays — The average Arlington household is expected to spend $1,741 celebrating the holidays, according to a new survey. That’s the highest expected holiday spending in the region and the 13th highest in the U.S. [InsideNova]
GMU Renames Building in Arlington — George Mason University’s Metropolitan Building in Virginia Square has been renamed for one of the school’s Nobel Prize laureates. The building will be renamed Vernon Smith Hall in a ceremony tomorrow (Friday). The university-owned building, at 3434 Washington Blvd, also houses the new Virginia DMV office. [George Mason University]
Beer Coming to Donut Shop — It’s a combination that would make Homer Simpson drool. Sugar Shack Donuts on Columbia Pike has applied for a Virginia ABC permit to serve beer. The application was filed Nov. 7. No word yet on how soon the store may be offering cold brews to pair with its donuts.
Good Stuff Eatery Opening at DCA — Burger restaurant Good Stuff Eatery is opening a new location today in Arlington: specifically, at Terminal B of Reagan National Airport. [Good Stuff Eatery]
Students Win Video Contest — “A team of students from the Arlington Career Center has won the fifth annual student video challenge sponsored by the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA), taking home the top prize for the fourth year in a row.” [Arlington Public Schools]
Govs. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) and John Kasich (R-Ohio) helped to dedicate the newly-named Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University’s Arlington campus Monday afternoon.
The school is now named after Dwight C. Schar, founder of homebuilder NVR, Inc., who donated $10 million to GMU.
Among those in attendance at the event was Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette.
More from a GMU press release:
Mason renamed the school this year in honor of Schar, a Virginia businessman who gave a $10 million gift to boost the school’s reputation nationally and amplify its research, programs and experts.
“Our Commonwealth is strong today because of leaders like Dwight Schar,” McAuliffe said before an audience of approximately 300 people on the Arlington Campus. “You have made this not only a better Commonwealth, but a better university and a better country.”
McAuliffe also announced that the Schar School has entered into an agreement with The Washington Post to conduct regional and state polling in Virginia.
The governors spoke at a ceremony alongside Mason President Ángel Cabrera, Rector and former U.S. Rep. Tom Davis, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly and Schar School Dean Mark J. Rozell.
Cabrera talked about the importance of giving the school a name that commands respect.
“Someone with a name that indicates real values and leadership,” Cabrera said. “This is a transformative gift, and promises that he will be here for the long run with us. This gift will help us propel this school to a whole new level.”
Cabrera said the school will “create a new generation of leaders who can make good things happen in our society.”
The Schar School educates about 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year and has more than 80 faculty and more than 13,000 alumni.
The school offers a range of public policy and government topics, including regional economics, global terrorism, security, public health, transportation, and many other areas. The faculty includes Carnegie and Guggenheim Fellows, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a former congressman, and the former head of the CIA and NSA.
Kasich, in his third appearance at Mason this year, said Schar is setting an example of how to use his wealth in meaningful ways to help his community.
“There are moments in time when we can rise to the higher level, when we live a life a little bit bigger than ourselves,” Kasich said. “Dwight has been very generous to this school. People won’t talk much about his business career or how much money he made. They’re going to talk about his generosity, the moments he lived his life bigger than himself.”
Kasich, McAuliffe at GMU Today — Govs. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) and John Kasich (R-Ohio) will help dedicate the newly-named Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University in Arlington this afternoon. The school is being named after Dwight C. Schar, founder of homebuilder NVR, Inc., who has pledged $10 million to GMU.
Vornado Considering Short-Term Stays — Remarkably, the 699-unit Bartlett apartment tower in Pentagon City is more than 60 percent leased only a few months after opening. To temporarily fill vacant apartments, however, owner Vornado is asking for permission to open 50 units to short-term visitors, turning those units into a kind of extended stay hotel. [Washington Business Journal]
Police Raid Near DJO — Residents in the Williamsburg neighborhood near Bishop O’Connell High School say there was a police raid at a house on the 2800 block of N. Tacoma Street on Friday. An Arlington County Police spokeswoman would only tell us that “officers were executing a search warrant pursuant to an ongoing and active criminal investigation.”
Clement Accuses Dems of Stealing Signs — Independent County Board candidate Audrey Clement says he signs are being stolen and she’s pointing the finger at Democrats. The chair of the local Democrats says some of their signs have disappeared as well and called on whoever is removing any candidate’s signs to stop. County Board John Vihstadt believes the sign stealer is someone opposed to roadside signs in general. [InsideNova]
Ann Broder Dies — Former Arlington School Board member and longtime local activist Ann Broder has died at her Arlington home. She was 87. Broder was married to the late, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter David Broder, who died in 2011. [Washington Post]
Sign Regulations Updated — The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved changes to its comprehensive sign plan that loosens signage regulations on buildings with older sign plans. The Board voted to make its sign regulations a bit more flexible in 2012, but the changes did not apply to existing sign plans. [Arlington County]
Marriage Jubilee Mass in Arlington — Arlington’s outgoing Catholic bishop, The Most Rev. Paul Loverde, celebrated the church’s annual Marriage Jubilee Mass at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington on Sunday. Among those in attendance were “150 couples celebrating their 25th anniversary and 109 couples celebrating their 50th anniversary.” [Associated Press]
Va. Voter Registration Deadline — Today is the last day to register to vote in Virginia before November’s election. [NBC Washington]
Supreme Court justices and protesters have both come to Arlington’s Virginia Square neighborhood for a dedication ceremony for George Mason University’s newly-named Antonin Scalia Law School.
The ceremony started at 11 a.m. at the law school, located at 3301 Fairfax Drive. Police have closed N. Kirkwood Road as a security measure.
The school was named for the late Supreme Court justice after GMU received $30 million in donation pledges. In addition to the six Supreme Court justices expected to attend this morning, members of the Scalia family are also on hand for the dedication.
The protesters say they’re demonstrating against the university’s decision to put “donor interests before those of its students and faculty.”
— Christopher J Scalia (@cjscalia) October 6, 2016
According to the program, all the justices are guests except for the Chief and Ginsburg. Kagan–Scalia's hunting buddy–will give remarks.
— Ariane de Vogue (@Arianedevogue) October 6, 2016
Six Supreme Court justices at dedication of Antonin Scalia Law School in northern Virginia. Not Roberts or Ginsburg. #SCOTUS
— Richard Wolf (@richardjwolf) October 6, 2016
Impressive turnout for dedication of Antonin Scalia Law School. Judges and justices galore. pic.twitter.com/OISe773zTf
— Richard Wolf (@richardjwolf) October 6, 2016
Crystal City Bus-Only Lanes Opening Soon — Bus-only lanes in Crystal City, part of the Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway, are set to open April 17. It’s the region’s first Bus Rapid Transit line. [Washington Post]
Civ Fed Wants Lower Taxes — The Arlington Civic Federation voted Tuesday to call for a one cent reduction in property taxes. The current annual rate is 99.6 cents for every $100 of assessed value. [InsideNova]
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Visits Today — Anthony Doerr, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “All the Light We Cannot See,” will discuss this best-selling novel at the Washington-Lee High School auditorium from 7-8:30 tonight. The discussion is part of Arlington Public Library’s 2016 Arlington Reads program, the theme of which is “the human displacement of World War II.” [ARLnow]
WW2 Exhibit at Library — In addition to the Doerr event and two other author talks, Arlington Central Library is hosting “an artifact-rich exhibition on Arlington County in World War II. It’s the story of a community undergoing rapid transition from fading farms to new home to the Pentagon, all while sending its young men to fight in Europe and the Pacific. ” [Arlington County]
GMU to Hold Talk With Camille Paglia — On Tuesday, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University’s Arlington campus will be holding a discussion with Camille Paglia, the “cultural critic, intellectual provocateur, and feminist icon.” The discussion will be hosted by GMU’s noted economics professor Tyler Cowen. RSVP is required. [Mercatus Center]
Former Willow Team is Now at the Watergate — Tracy O’Grady, the chef and owner of the former Willow restaurant in Ballston, is now running Campono, an Italian restaurant in the Watergate complex. O’Grady’s husband Brian, who also worked at Willow, is on the Campono team as well. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
GMU to Tweak Name of Scalia Law School — A week ago, after receiving $30 million in donations, George Mason University announced that it was naming its Arlington-based law school the “Antonin Scalia School of Law,” in honor of the late Supreme Court justice. The internet promptly went wild for the school’s would-be acronym: ASS Law or ASSoL. GMU noticed, and is now adjusting the name to the “Antonin Scalia Law School.” [Above the Law]
Porch Fire in High View Park — A small fire broke out yesterday on the porch of a house in the High View Park neighborhood, on the 2300 block of N. Dinwiddie Street, about two blocks from Fire Station No. 8. The fire marshal is investigating the incident. [Twitter]
County Live Streams First Commission Meeting — Arlington County live streamed a Planning Commission meeting for the first time Tuesday night. To re-live those 102 minutes of excitement, you can now view the meeting online, on-demand. [Arlington County]
Clarendon Farmers Market Returns Today — The Clarendon Farmers Market is back for the season today. The farmers market typically takes place next to the Metro station from 3-7 p.m. [Clarendon Alliance]
APS Open to Selling Naming Rights — There’s no indication that anyone has inquired about it, but the naming rights to Arlington’s high school football stadiums, gyms and theaters could be for sale for the right price. Arlington Public Schools says it would consider naming facilities after large donors. [InsideNova]
Rosslyn Startup Gets Big Investment — Rosslyn-based LiveSafe has received a $5.25 million investment from FedEx founder Fred Smith. LiveSafe describes itself as an “enterprise-class mobile safety communications platform.” [Commercial Appeal, PE Hub]
Flickr pool photo by Airamangel
(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) George Mason University’s Arlington-based law school has been renamed after the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
GMU agreed to rename the law school, based in the Virginia Square neighborhood, after receiving two donations for a total of $30 million, the largest combined gift in university history. Of the $30 million, $20 million came from an anonymous donor, via the Federalist Society, and $10 million was donated by the Charles Koch Foundation.
GMU’s Board of Visitors voted in favor of the new name this afternoon, the Wall Street Journal reported. Scalia, a McLean resident, passed away in his sleep on Feb. 13 while visiting a Texas ranch.
After the jump, the press release from George Mason University announcing the new name.
The university is warning of potential traffic and parking issues around its Arlington campus.
“This event is open to students, faculty and staff, as well as the broader community,” GMU said in a press release. “Though we expect no changes to operations at Hazel Hall and the Arlington Campus, there are likely to be parking and traffic impacts associated with the event.”
“We expect additional traffic on campus on Tuesday as Founders Hall is a designated polling place for Arlington County for the Virginia Primary Election,” the university added.
Photo via John Kasich/Flickr
The Super Tuesday primaries are upon us. On Tuesday, voters in Virginia and almost a dozen other states will head to the polls to select a Republican and a Democratic presidential nominee.
Will Hilary Clinton remain the Democratic favorite? Will Donald Trump retain his unlikely status as the Republican frontrunnner?
On Feb. 16, polls and statistics guru elections guru Nate Silver sat down with prominent George Mason University professor Tyler Cowen, as part of the “Conversations with Tyler” series at GMU’s Arlington campus.
The Mercatus Center at GMU has posted video (above) and a transcript of the discussion. Here are some of Silver’s predictions and observations.
On Silver’s initial Trump skepticism:
I got a little frustrated, because a lot of people were saying, “Trump’s instantly going to evaporate in the polls.” If you go back and look at what we wrote, we said, “That could happen, but there are also a lot of candidates – Pat Buchanan, and so forth, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum – who will get 20, 25, 30-something percent of the electorate, and we have a high-floor, low-ceiling type of candidate.”
Lots of unusual candidates have done well in early polls. Lots of unusual candidates have won Iowa or New Hampshire, not usually both, but one or the other. It’s the ability to consolidate the field after that, by becoming the consensus choice of the party that’s been more unusual. That assumption still might prove to be true.
On Marco Rubio’s chances:
I’ve been a Rubio optimist for a while, on the theory that he is the only candidate who really has appeal to all the various sectors and constituencies within the GOP, which may be a fraying party, but still, he has the highest favorability ratings in the party.
On Ted Cruz and the price of rigid ideology in the general election:
You can see that there’s a price for extremism. Not a price that can’t be overcome, if we go into a big recession or if Clinton or Bernie has huge problems, but Cruz would probably cost you three or four points relative to the median generic Republican.
On Trump’s potential pivot to the center in a general election:
But the most basic problem is that in an election between Sanders and Trump or Clinton and Trump, everything is quite left of center. Trump, when he was thinking about running as an independent in 1999-2000, had an eccentric platform. It involved single-payer health care, a wealth tax. He was anti-immigration, even then, but pro-choice.
He said explicitly, “I’m not bound by any party, really. I’ll probably reconsider my stances if I become the Republican nominee.”
On Bernie Sanders’ Democratic base of support:
Sanders, we haven’t really seen. Can he win states that are not very white and very liberal? Maybe he can. Nevada seems to be pretty close. I’m just saying, we haven’t really received that much information that would make you update your priors about Sanders all that much.
On Michael Bloomberg potentially entering the race as an independent candidate:
Obviously, in some ways, the climate could be as fertile as ever for some type of third candidate running, but Bloomberg, I don’t know. Number one, I’m not sure he differentiates all that well from Clinton, with whom he has a lot in common policy-wise, and Trump, with which he’s kind of the same character.
W-L Defeats Yorktown, Twice — The Washington-Lee girls’ and boys’ varsity basketball teams both defeated their Yorktown counterparts yesterday, in cross-county rivalry games. The girls won 54-45, while the boys won 65-59.
Branson-Backed Startup Coming to Rosslyn — OneWeb, a startup that’s aiming to launch a constellation of low-orbit satellites that will provide affordable Internet access across the globe, is coming to Rosslyn. The company, backed by Virgin Group tycoon Richard Branson, will occupy a 6,000-square-foot space in Monday Properties’ 1400 Key Blvd building. The building, which is also home to ARLnow.com, is slated to replaced with an apartment tower and grocery store at some point, though it’s unclear when the redevelopment will move forward. [Washington Business Journal]
Reminder: Get Rid of Dry Christmas Trees — The Arlington County Fire Department is reminding residents that dry Christmas trees are a big fire hazard. The county is currently in the midst of its annual Christmas tree collection. [Twitter]
A-SPAN Kudos for Paisano’s — Paisano’s Pizza saved the day for the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network, after A-SPAN’s planned hot dinner for its homeless clients fell through at the last minute. Paisano’s delivered pasta, salad and garlic bread on a cold night and on short notice. [Facebook]
Levine Proposes LGBT Rights Bills — Yesterday we reported on three LGBT rights bills proposed by state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D). Delegate-elect Mark Levine (D), who represents part of South Arlington and Alexandria, has proposed several such bills of his own. Among them are bills prohibiting employment, housing and other discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Levine was formerly legislative counsel to former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). [Washington Blade]
TransportationCamp DC Coming to GMU — George Mason University’s Arlington campus will host the 5th annual TransportationCamp DC gathering on Saturday. The “un-conference” will discuss various transportation, technology and mobility issues. More than 400 “thought leaders, young professionals, and students from around the country” are expected to attend. [TransportationCamp]
Thank You to Crystal City Rotary Club — Thank you to the Crystal City-Pentagon Rotary Club for a hearty breakfast this morning. ARLnow.com founder Scott Brodbeck spoke to the group about his experience running a small business that happens to be Arlington’s most-read local news outlet. ARLnow.com will celebrate its sixth anniversary on Jan. 29.
Shortest Day of the Year — Today is the shortest day of the year. The sun will be up just 9 hours and 26 minutes today, so enjoy the daylight while it lasts. Tonight is the winter solstice. [Capital Weather Gang]
Two Big Crystal City Projects on Hold — Two projects to replace aging office buildings in Crystal City are on hold due to high office vacancy in the region. Vornado was planning to replace 1851 S. Bell Street with what would have been the tallest building in Crystal City and the largest private office building in Arlington. The company was also planning to replace 223 23rd Street S. with an office and a residential tower. Those have both reportedly been shelved due to market conditions. [Washington Business Journal]
Police Play Cornhole With Bar Crawlers — Nearly 2,000 people flocked to Clarendon on Saturday for the inaugural Candy Cane Crawl, a holiday-themed bar crawl. Arlington County Police used the occasion to educate bar-goers about the dangers of drunk driving, by having people try to play cornhole while wearing “drunk goggles.” [WUSA 9]
Mary Slye Obituary — Mary Patricia Slye, who managed Robert Slye Electronics on Washington Blvd in Virginia Square, died last month of a heart attack at the age of 65. Slye was an Arlington resident and began working at the audio visual installation business in the mid-1980s. [Washington Post]
Vehicle Topples Light Pole on Washington Blvd — A vehicle struck a light pole near the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Pershing Drive on Saturday, sending it toppling across the street. Luckily, no one was hurt. Eastbound traffic on Washington Blvd was blocked for about 15 minutes. [Twitter]
GMU Grad Hopes to Run for Arlington School Board — A newly-minted George Mason University grad has a specific and somewhat uncommon career goal for someone her age: Marlayna Bush says she wants to run for the Arlington School Board in 2018. She just received her BA in conflict analysis and resolution. [George Mason University]
Post Endorses Dorsey and Cristol — The Washington Post has endorsed Democrats Christian Dorsey and Katie Cristol in the race for Arlington County Board. The paper writes of the pair’s opponents: “Both are serious candidates and have attacked what they consider Arlington’s profligate spending… Yet neither has advanced convincing proposals to trim spending or explained why enlarging the stock of affordable housing should not be a priority in a place where the supply of it has diminished rapidly with gentrification.” [Washington Post]
County Board Push Poll Criticized — A “push poll” in the Arlington County Board race is being criticized after two residents say the caller asked misleading questions and didn’t disclose who had paid for it. Board candidate Michael McMenamin said he commissioned a poll but the script explicitly said that it was paid for by his campaign. [Washington Post]
Tour of New 1776 Offices — The newly-refurbished office of tech incubator 1776 in Crystal City is being debuted this week. The office includes a full kitchen, and the incubator is seeking two chefs to cook for its members. [Washington Business Journal]
Kaine Speaking at GMU Arlington Campus — Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) will give a speech on Congress and war powers at George Mason University’s Arlington campus tonight at 7 p.m. “Kaine has been a leading voice urging the Obama administration to seek a specific authorization for U.S. military action against ISIL while pressing his congressional colleagues to debate and vote on the mission – one he believes goes well beyond the legal scope and intent of existing authorizations from 2001 and 2002,” a press release notes.
Drunk Man Calls 911 for Ride to Arlington — A drunk hotel guest in Vienna, Va. was arrested last week after twice calling 911 to request a ride to Arlington. [InsideNova]