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by Kalina Newman June 16, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) will host a forum on the future of net neutrality in two weeks.

The event is happening on Monday, June 26 from 7:30-9 p.m. Beyer will be joined by former Federal Communications Commission chair Tom Wheeler and former FCC general counsel Jonathan Sallet.

The forum will take place in George Mason University’s Founders Hall (3351 N. Fairfax Drive) and is free to attend, though registration is strongly advised.

Net neutrality is a principle that prohibits internet service providers from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content. For example, without net neutrality rules a cable company could intentionally slow down the Netflix video streaming service as a way to force people to use its own streaming service instead.

Advocates worry that if the FCC rolls back net neutrality protections, companies like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast could have control over internet content. Currently the FCC is soliciting comments to its email inbox at [email protected], to better understand the potential impact net neutrality abolition could have on internet users.

by Brooke Giles June 8, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

A new report says Arlington County should use ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft to supplement under-performing ART bus routes and better connect residents with Metro stations.

Graduate students at George Mason University’s Schar School of Government and Policy compiled strategies to improve transit in the county, and concluded that using ride-hailing is one way to do so.

The report says the current fixed ART bus system is a disadvantage to some areas that are highly populated due to overcrowding, while there are service gaps for areas that are less densely populated. Based on their research, the ART 41 route from Columbia Pike to Courthouse is the busiest, while the 53, 62, 74 and 92 are all underused and failed to recoup much of their operating costs through fares.

The solution of using the likes of Uber and Lyft to supplement buses on routes that are underutilized is based on a similar program in Pinellas County, Florida called Direct Connect. Through the program, the county pays for half of a commuter’s Uber fare if it begins and ends at certain points and stays within a specific area.

A similar partnership can improve connections to the county’s Metro stations, GMU students concluded. While the report gives Arlington credit for the use of car- and bike-sharing with the likes of Capital Bikeshare and Car2Go, it says partnering with ride-hailing companies could be helpful for those who right now struggle to integrate Metro into their commutes.

The report also said the county could improve how it provides information about its transit services. Currently, mobile applications do not support real-time tracking for ART buses.

“Mobile networks play a vital role in day-to-day life and real-time tracking of services has become a necessity for busy commuters,” the report says. “Developing this tool as a mobile application would create greater convenience for commuters.”

The report also said that the county could benefit from talking to the community. It suggests facilitating a two-way dialogue between riders and county staff, and using strategies like surveying riders at Metro stations and other major transit hubs.

“Arlington County, if it were to embrace advances in information technology and extend its history of community engagement even further, could implement cost-effective yet innovative transportation solutions in its neighborhoods,” the report says.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor June 6, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

Click here to register for the event.

Is there a “coming-of-age crisis” in America?

Yes, according to Sen. Ben Sasse’s new book “The Vanishing American Adult.” In the book, the Nebraska Senator makes the case that many young people in America are stuck in a state of perpetual youth, lacking in self-discipline and purpose. This phenomenon, according to Sasse, poses an existential threat to America’s future, as a country without functioning, responsible adults will be susceptible to political demagogues.

This is one of the many topics that Sen. Sasse and George Mason economist Tyler Cowen will discuss during their one-on-one dialogue on Wednesday, June 14, from 6:30-8 p.m., at GMU’s Arlington campus (3351 Fairfax Drive).

The conversation is part of the Mercatus Center’s Conversations with Tyler series, and will be open to the public free of charge.

Sasse is especially qualified to observe millennial trends as he served as president of Midland University from 2010 to 2015. He’s also known for his ability to communicate with Americans of all generations in original ways — whether it’s through his refreshingly candid tweets or his part-time Uber charity gig.

But there is more to Sasse than politics and tweets. A historian by training, Sasse has earned four advanced degrees, including a Ph.D. from Yale. Dubbing him “Washington’s Most Interesting Egghead,” the Atlantic noted that his experience in academia, corporate consulting, and past government appointments have given him one of the Senate’s most varied resumes.

This makes him a natural fit for Conversations with Tyler, a discussion series that engages today’s top thinkers in one-on-one conversations about everything and anything with economist Tyler Cowen. Past guests include tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel, renowned academic Camille Paglia, and author Malcolm Gladwell.

Guests should come prepared for a lively conversation about the unique challenges this country faces and how parents, young people, and all Americans can be a part of the solution.

Click here to register for the event.

by ARLnow.com May 9, 2017 at 6:15 pm 0

Update at 6:45 p.m. — The fire department has cleared the scene and all lanes of Fairfax Drive are back open.

The Arlington County Fire Department is investigating a hazmat incident at George Mason University’s law school in Virginia Square.

The incident happened on the third floor of the law school building, at 3301 Fairfax Drive, and involves a suspicious envelope containing a “powdery substance,” according to fire department spokesman Lt. Jeff Crooke. One person who opened the envelope is being evaluated but is not believed be suffering any medical issues at this time.

Police have blocked the westbound lanes of Fairfax Drive due to the emergency response.

The law school was recently renamed the Antonin Scalia Law School, after the late Supreme Court justice.

Map via Google Maps

by Chris Teale May 1, 2017 at 5:35 pm 0

More than 100 dignitaries, students, faculty and staff braved blustery conditions Monday for the unveiling of the Bill of Rights Eagle outside the Antonin Scalia Law School on George Mason University’s Arlington campus.

Cast in bronze by sculptor Greg Wyatt, the 4,300-pound eagle has a seven-foot wingspan and was dedicated as part of the university’s Law Day celebrations.

It shows an American eagle standing on top of the Bill of Rights, protecting them with its enormous wings. In an interview after the ceremony, Wyatt said it was symbolic of standing against oppression and for freedom.

“It’s a permanent memorial to free speech and artistic practice, unlimited by your format and materials,” he said. “It’s something you want to pass from one generation to the next.”

Wyatt initially presented the statue in plaster in the U.S. Senate’s Russell Office Building in 1989, before it moved two years later to the southwest corner of the courtyard at Harvard University, near Dudley House.

After five years outside Dudley House, it moved to the courtyard by Harvard’s Winthrop House, just outside the suite where former President John F. Kennedy lived and studied. A renovation in that area forced it to return to Wyatt’s studio, then the law school was recommended for its new home.

And while university officials said the move was not because of namesake George Mason IV’s role as the author of the Bill of Rights, it is fitting nonetheless.

“I think Harvard Yard was an okay place for the Bill of Rights Eagle. I think the U.S. Senate was a better place,” said GMU president Angel Cabrera. “But I cannot think of a better place for the eagle than the law school that carries the name of the author of the Bill of Rights.”

“I just get chills,” said law school dean Henry Butler. “Here we are at the university named for the father of the Bill of Rights, being given an eagle named for the Bill of Rights.”

Wyatt has designed two other similar eagles on display in the U.S.: one with a three-foot wingspan on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and another with an 18-foot wingspan in the north courtyard of the State Department in the District, installed in 2000.

He said his research involved learning about how eagles are put together, from their bone structure to feather count and where their joints are.

“That kind of research is expected,” Wyatt said. “What’s not expected is adding something to the nation’s symbol. What that means in this instance is the idea that our freedom of speech and production and artists are showcase for the benefits of the constitutional rule of law under which all of us derive these precious freedoms.”

by Tim Regan March 3, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

GMU Arlington charette flyerArlington residents will have a chance to weigh in on what they’d like to see at GMU’s Arlington campus during a two-day event planned for next week.

The campus is scheduled to host a “conversation about George Mason University’s role in developing the nation’s future leaders and influencers” at Founders Hall, which is located at 3351 Fairfax Drive, on March 8 and 9.

The two-day event’s schedule includes a virtual tour of the campus, a presentation and Q&A from AOL co-founder and entrepreneur Steve Case, and break-out “visioning sessions” where attendees can brainstorm about branding, academic priorities and new facility needs.

A large part of the workshops will center on what the college should do with the original campus building at 3401 Fairfax Drive, which is currently vacant.

“We’ve had plans over the years on what to do with this space, but we never got very far,” said Tom Calhoun, a vice president at George Mason University. “We’re taking this opportunity to say, what’s our vision for that space?”

The workshops are free and open to the public.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 28, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

'Complacent Class' cover imageIn 1835, French diplomat Alexis de Tocqueville published Democracy in America, in which he wrote of a United States that was perpetually in motion — full of restlessness, energy, and ambition.

Now, over 180 years later, America’s national character seems to be changing. Americans across income classes are moving less, starting fewer businesses, marrying people more like themselves, and basing choices on algorithms that wall them off from anything new or different.

In other words, Americans have become complacent. They are working harder than ever to postpone or avoid change. A focus on safety and caution over everything else has resulted in an America that is less dynamic and more conformist than ever before.

That’s the primary observation George Mason economist Tyler Cowen makes in his new book, The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream. In it he documents the rising trends of self-segregation, stagnation, and risk avoidance in America. Of the book, author Malcolm Gladwell said, “His brilliant new book…has been on my nightstand after I devoured it in one sitting. I am at round-the-clock Cowen saturation right now.” At Foreign Affairs, Edward Luce said, “Cowen does a marvelous job of turning his Tocquevillian eye to today’s America.”

On Monday, March 6, from 6-7 p.m., the Mercatus Center at George Mason University will host a live interview at George Mason’s Arlington Campus (3351 Fairfax Drive) between Reason Magazine’s Katherine Mangu-Ward and Tyler Cowen on American complacency and what it means for the future of politics, the economy, and the very foundation of our culture.

The event is free of charge and open to the public, and copies of the book will be available for purchase after the discussion.

The discussion is especially timely given the current state of politics. In his book, Tyler Cowen notes that the short-term peace and calm that results from American complacency simply cannot last. He predicts a chaotic future as more Americans rebel against the economic stagnation and lack of mobility that result from maintaining the status quo.

While America may currently seem less stable and more restless than before, The Complacent Class suggests there is reason for long-term optimism as the upcoming process of social, economic, and legal transformation could ultimately reinvigorate Americans to bring back the dynamism, energy and ambition that Tocqueville observed in his time. Nevertheless, many Americans may soon wish to have the era of complacency back.

Click here to register for the free event.

Click here to pre-order a copy of The Complacent Class:The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream.

The preceding was written and sponsored by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

by ARLnow.com February 1, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Birds and a plane (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

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

by ARLnow.com January 2, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Malcolm GladwellBest-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.

Held as part of the Mercatus Center’s “Conversations with Tyler” series, the event is open to the public and free to attend, with registration.

by ARLnow.com November 29, 2016 at 6:00 am 0

Jhumpa LahiriRegister for the event here.

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.

Register here and take a look at other upcoming conversations.

Tyler CowenLahiri’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.

by ARLnow.com November 17, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Supermoon (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

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]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com October 17, 2016 at 5:55 pm 0

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.”

by ARLnow.com October 17, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

Window cleaners in Courthouse

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]

by ARLnow.com October 6, 2016 at 11:30 am 0

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.”

by ARLnow.com April 7, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

Parking lot puddle (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

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

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