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Morning Poll: Has Metro Track Work Impacted Your Commute?

In the days leading up to Metro’s latest round of major track construction work, officials rolled out a series of grim warnings about what the work would mean for commuters on the Silver, Orange and Blue lines.

With the Blue Line completely shut down between Arlington Cemetery and D.C., and huge delays on the other two lines, Metro warned commuters to only choose the service if they didn’t have any other option. County Board Vice Chair Christian Dorsey even predicted “extreme crowding” and “incredible chaos” at station platforms along D.C.’s urban core.

Now, with the major track work set to last several more days yet before wrapping up Sunday, the question becomes: how accurate were those gloomy predictions?

Whether you’re a Metro rider braving those conditions, or looking to avoid them on a bus or in a car, we want to know: has the track work meaningfully impacted your commute since last Saturday (Aug. 11)?

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Morning Poll: Should Washington-Lee HS Be Renamed?

The Washington-Lee High School renaming process continues to move forward, despite a lawsuit and opposition from many students and alumni.

The School Board is hoping to have a new name ready for the school in time for the opening of the 2019-2020 school year next September, ARLnow has previously reported.

But it will be an uphill battle for school officials, judging by emails we continue to receive from upset alums and other anecdotal reports; Sun Gazette Editor Scott McCaffrey wrote today that he and other staffers at the paper frequently run into W-L alumni, all of whom thus far have expressed opposition to the change.

Last time we did a poll on the subject was five years ago this month, when a name change was still just an idea batted about by letter to the editor writers. At that time, 87.5 percent of respondents said they were against changing the name, agreeing that Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy are “part of our history and… not worth changing the name over.”

Since then, the emergence of an emboldened white nationalist movement and last summer’s deadly rally in Charlottesville have changed the conversation. But is it enough to change opinions on removing Lee’s name from W-L? Let’s find out.

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Morning Poll: Should Clarendon Stores Close Their Doors in the Heat?

“Why is the door open, are we trying to air condition the whole neighborhood?”

That must be what some retail employees in Clarendon are be thinking this week. Amid a scorching heat wave, many stores are still keeping their doors propped open.

What is otherwise a solid strategy for getting passersby to come inside becomes absurd when the temperature reaches well above the 90s.

This is nothing new — it’s been happening for years. But even the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services is now making fun of it via social media.

Not everybody hates the open doors, however. A certain employee of this publication, who will go unnamed, acknowledged that the open doors are probably a bit wasteful, but argued that the cool breeze feels nice when walking by.

What do you think?

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Morning Poll: Do You Live or Work in Arlington (or Both?)

One thing we’ve never asked readers is whether you are Arlington residents or otherwise.

Obviously if you’re reading this site you have a strong interest in what happens in Arlington. But you might only work here, or maybe you used to live here and you’re checking back on the old neighborhood, or you’re Arlington born-and-raised and away at college.

Which is it? Let’s find out.

File photo

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Morning Poll: What’s Above the CVS in Clarendon?

Last Friday, as we eagerly awaited the arrival of the Washington Capitals and the Stanley Cup in Clarendon, a few ARLnow staffers had some time to kill.

As the minutes ticked by and Lord Stanley’s cup was still somewhere between Dulles and Don Tito’s, we looked up at the CVS Pharmacy across the street and realized something: there was a second floor. It might seem obvious to others, but we hadn’t noticed the windows there before.

What exactly was up there, we wondered?

Before Slacking the intern to request a full investigation the following week, we saw two people peering out the window at the growing crowd below.

The clothes they were wearing were a pretty good clue as to what’s up there — but that’s not going to stop us from making the most of this mystery and posting it in the form of a morning poll.

So we put it to you, our readers: what do you imagine is above the Clarendon CVS?

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Morning Notes

Crystal City Tops HQ2 Poll — The combined Crystal City-Potomac Yard site is the most likely D.C. area landing spot for Amazon’s second headquarters, according to an online poll conducted by the Washington Business Journal. Meanwhile, D.C., Virginia and Maryland officials are teaming up to promote the region as the HQ2 search continues. Amazon fever has even entered the world of local business conferences: an event dubbed “HQmania” is scheduled to be held in Rosslyn next month. [Washington Business Journal, WAMU, DCA Live]

Rosslyn Lands Nonprofit HQ — “It’s been a good week for Rosslyn. First came the news that Gerber, a Nestle subsidiary, would relocate its headquarters and 150 jobs from New Jersey to 1812 N. Moore St. And Friday, we learn that a D.C.-based global nonprofit has decided to cross the Potomac into Arlington.” [Washington Business Journal]

ART Bus Stop Vandalized — Someone smashed two of the windows on an ART bus stop in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood late last week. [Twitter]

Arlington Man Charged With Statutory Rape — A 47-year-old Arlington man was arrested at his home last month and charged with the statutory rape of a minor in North Carolina. The man arranged meeting the minor in North Carolina via the messaging app Kik, which is popular with teens. [Fox 8]

Local Columbine Survivor Addresses Student Protesters — “Salli Garrigan was in music class when the sound of gunshots reverberated through the halls of her high school… Garrigan, now 35 and an Arlington resident, stood Friday before a crowd of D.C.-area students gathered on the U.S. Capitol lawn and told them when she was their age, she didn’t know how to make her voice heard.” [Washington Post]

Long Bridge Park Field Renovations Starting — Work is set to begin today on new turf for Long Bridge Park’s heavily-used Field No. 3. The field is expected to be closed for 45 days. [Arlington County]

Past and Present School Board Members Gather — On Thursday, the Arlington School Board held its last meeting at the Arlington Education Center building next to Washington-Lee High School. The board room and administrative offices are moving to the Syphax Education Center along Washington Blvd. To mark the last meeting, past and current School Board members members gathered for a photo. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Duluoz Me

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Morning Poll: Friday the 13th

It’s Friday, April 13 — Friday the 13th — that supposedly unluckiest of days.

If you’re superstitious, you might be a bit extra cautious today, walking around ladders, avoiding certain felines and whatnot. Or, if you think that all this superstition stuff is silly, you’re probably not doing a single thing differently.

Let’s find out where Arlington residents stand when it comes to superstition and Friday the 13th.

Photo via Wikipedia

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Morning Poll: Office Productivity During March Madness

In some offices around this time of year, employee productivity mysteriously goes down.

The mid-March affliction seems to affect those who are taking extra time off from their normal day-to-day to gather around the office TV, stare at their smartphone, take extra long lunch breaks or weep while staring at a pyramidic sheet of paper.

Since we’re in the safe company of anonymous friends, we just wanted to ask: how much work time are you taking this week to watch NCAA March Madness tournament games?

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Morning Poll: What Do You Think About That ‘F–k the NRA’ House?

Opinions seem to be divided about the house in Arlington’s Highland Park neighborhood with the chalk message declaring “F–k the NRA.”

On one hand, many people — even those who are not fans of the National Rifle Association and pro-gun policies — object to writing a large profanity on the front of a house along a busy road. There are children in the neighborhood who walk by this house, those who object to it say.

On the other hand, the resident who wrote the message is exercising his or her right to free speech and addressing an important topic. When guns are being used to kill children in schools, supporters say, the “F-word” should be the least of people’s concerns.

What do you think?

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Morning Poll: 2018 Resolutions for Arlington

It’s a new year and, at the Arlington County Board’s annual organizational meeting tonight, Board members will set a new(-ish) direction for 2018.

The Board now has a new member — Erik Gutshall — who prevailed in the Democratic caucus and then the general election last year. He replaces long-time Board member Jay Fisette, who declined to run for another term, while Libby Garvey has become the longest-serving Board member.

With a new County Board and a new year of civic life to contemplate, we wanted to know what your New year’s resolutions are for Arlington.

We’ve taken a bunch of things we often hear from readers and put them the poll below. Select your top 3 from the list, and let us know in the comments if you have any others.

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Morning Poll: 2018-2019 Vehicle Decal Design Finalists

Voting is underway in the contest to decide which vehicle decal design will wind up on on the windshields of more than 150,000 vehicles in Arlington County next year.

Arlington residents can each cast an online ballot on the county treasurer’s website through Monday, Jan. 15. This year, voters are being asked to rank each of the four finalists from 1 to 4, with 1 being their favorite and 4 their least favorite.

(As in previous years, the designs are submitted by local high school students.)

Go get a sense of which design might emerge victorious, we are conducting our own informal poll of Arlingtonians. Vote below for your favorite and we’ll compare our poll results to the final results, when the results are announced late next month.

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Morning Poll: What’s the Most You Would Pay for I-66 Tolls?

The sky-high tolls for solo rush hour drivers on the newly-launched I-66 HOT lanes are prompting outrage and incredulity among some commuters and local outside-the-Beltway lawmakers.

Tolls higher than $30 — for the trip from I-495 to D.C. — have been reported since the HOT lanes launched on Monday. The new system replaces the former HOV-only rush hour regime with one that also allows solo drivers to pay, while eliminating exemptions for fuel efficient vehicles and those heading to Dulles airport.

Today, lower tolls — peaking around $23.50 — were reported, though that is still well above the $7-9 tolls originally predicted by VDOT. Meanwhile, traffic on alternative east-west arteries, like Route 50, has increased since the tolls went into effect.

VDOT says the toll prices are demand-based, which presumably means that some drivers are choosing to pay upwards of $30 for a one-way trip to the Roosevelt Bridge.

For those of means, along with bus riders and carpoolers, the change has at least resulted in a breeze of a commute on I-66 — higher average speeds during peak times than before the change. The average speed during Monday and Tuesday’s commutes was 57 miles per hour, according to VDOT.

Should VDOT decide to lower toll prices, it might result in slowdowns and congestion, some fear.

So what would be the price most people would be willing to pay? Let’s find out.

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Poll: Did You Feel the Delaware Earthquake?

(Updated at 5:40 p.m.) The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting a 5.1 4.4 4.1 magnitude earthquake — centered near Dover, Delaware — shook the region just after 4:45 p.m. Thursday.

One local resident said via Twitter that her house shuddered and glassware rattled in the home’s cabinets during the quake. But not everyone felt it — here at ARLnow.com HQ in Clarendon, the quake went unnoticed by three employees until tweets started showing up on our feed.

The temblor may have been the biggest in the Mid-Atlantic region since the August 23, 2011 quake.

Did you feel the quake?

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Morning Poll: Looking Forward to Snow?

Thanksgiving is a day away and Christmas music is beginning to be played in malls and on the radio.

While it’s not quite frosty enough for a white Thanksgiving, a winter wonderland may be on the minds of local residents after a disappointing season for snow lovers last year.

This year, D.C. forecasters are calling for a snowier season, with anywhere between 10-20 inches of snow expected to fall on Arlington and the District. About 15 inches of snow is the average.

What are you hoping for this year — a white Christmas and plenty of sledding opportunities, or another winter of not much shoveling and windshield scraping?

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Morning Poll: Have You Been Following the Race for Va. Governor?

Election Day is coming up on Tuesday and quite a few Arlington voters have already “headed to the polls” via absentee voting.

This year’s ballot includes an Arlington County Board race, School Board race, Virginia House of Delegates races and statewide races for attorney general, lieutenant governor and governor.

The gubernatorial race has been particularly pitched this year, with gobs of money spent by and on behalf of Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam (above).

Many Arlington residents have likely noticed a barrage of direct mail and local TV ads. But how closely have you, personally, been following the race?

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