Arlington, VA

President Obama speaks at Washington-Lee High School

George Mason University’s Arlington campus is holding a free screening of The Final Year, a documentary chronicling the foreign policy decisions made in the closing days of President Barack Obama’s administration.

The university’s Center for Security Policy Studies at the Schar School of Policy and Government will host the screening at the Founders Hall auditorium (3434 Washington Blvd) starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday (May 10).

Mason professor Ellen Laipson, the director of the university’s international security program, will then host a panel discussion with several Obama administration veterans. Panelists are set to include Rumana Ahmed, former senior advisor to Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes; Sergio Aguiree, former chief of staff to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and former White House National Security Council Director; and Desiree Barnes, who served as a communications and public engagement strategist for Obama.

Released earlier this year and directed by Greg Barker, The Final Year focuses on top foreign policy officials in Obama’s White House, like Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, as they wrestle with how to leave a lasting legacy on the international stage.

Anyone interested in attending the screening can register online.

File photo

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Morning Notes

Arson Not Suspected in Ashton Heights Blaze — The house fire that critically injured an occupant of a house on N. Ivy Street in Ashton Heights “doesn’t appear to be malicious,” says the Arlington County Fire Department. The blaze caused about $300,000 in damage to the home. [Twitter]

Obama, Tillerson Join Army Navy Country Club — Former President Barack Obama and current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson both joined Army Navy Country Club earlier this year. [Washingtonian]

Homes in Arlington Get Pricier — “A total of 237 properties went to closing in September, up 8.7 percent from the 218 transactions a year before… With the increase in sales came a nearly identical hike in average sales price, which was up 8.8 percent to $640,441.” [InsideNova]

Police: Arlington Woman Left Stroller in Middle of Road — “A 19-year-old Arlington woman was arrested on Sunday after she allegedly left an infant in a stroller in the middle of the road in Woodbridge while she bit and assaulted an acquaintance during an argument.” [Prince William Times]

Lidl Struggling to Break Into U.S. Market — Lidl, the German grocery chain with its U.S. headquarters in Crystal City, is reportedly pulling out of a lease deal in Prince George’s County, Md. as it struggles to gain market share in the U.S. [Washington Business Journal]

Lost Dog Taking in Shelter Pets from Puerto Rico — The Arlington-based Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation is among the local organizations taking in shelter pets from hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. [WJLA]

Grohl References ‘Mario’s Pizza’ at D.C. Show — Northern Virginia native Dave Grohl said “we’re all going to Mario’s Pizza” while wrapping up a Foo Fighters performance at The Anthem in D.C. last night. The band will headline the venue’s grand opening tonight. [Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Icy fence (Flickr pool photo by Eric)

CEB Being Acquired — Arlington-based CEB Inc., one of the county’s biggest private employers, is being acquired by Connecticut-based Gartner in a $2.6 billion cash-and-stock deal. CEB is set to anchor one of the under-construction Central Place towers in Rosslyn once it is completed. [Reuters, Gartner]

Fisette Still Mulling Reelection Run — Jay Fisette, who is serving as Arlington County Board Chair for 2017, has not yet decided whether he’ll run for another four-year term. Fisette says he’ll make a decision in February, the Washington Post’s Patricia Sullivan reports. [Twitter]

What County Board Members Did for New Year’s — With the County Board’s traditional New Year’s Day organizational meeting moved to Jan. 3, what did County Board members do on Jan. 1 instead? Nothing too interesting, it turns out. [Falls Church News-Press]

Obama’s Military Farewell Ceremony — It tied up some traffic in Arlington, but yesterday afternoon the country’s armed forces bid farewell to President Obama and Vice President Biden on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. The event went well, minus one Army honor guard member fainting during the ceremony. [NBC News, Daily Mail]

Couple Married After 20 Years Together — An Arlington couple that first met 20 years ago in a D.C. nightclub finally tied the knot over the summer. Bob Kenney, a real estate agent, and Mark Treadaway, an airport executive, were wed in the backyard of their Woodmont home in front of 75 guests. [Arlington Magazine]

Nearby: Alexandria Flips Out Over Taco Bell — Residents in the West End of Alexandria are really worried about a proposed Taco Bell. In letters to the city’s planning commission, residents decried the potential for “late night riff raff,” “the devastating effects of an accident,” and “lowered home values.” One resident also relayed her personal experience of going to a Taco Bell that had run out of forks. There are four Taco Bells in Arlington County, including one on the Alexandria border and another in the Pentagon. [Washington Business Journal, City of Alexandria]

Va. Legislator Proposes N.C. Style Bathroom Bill — Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William) has proposed a “bathroom bill” similar to the controversial bill that because law in North Carolina. The bill would restrict transgender individuals from using certain bathrooms and would require school principals to “notify all parents if a student at their children’s school asks to be treated as a member of the opposite sex.” [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Eric

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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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Morning Notes

Rosslyn in the fall (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Dogs Die in Seven Corners Fire — Two dogs perished in a Sunday morning house fire in the Seven Corners area, although three dogs and four people were able to make it out of the burning home okay. Arlington County firefighters responded to the scene, assisting Fairfax County units in battling the blaze. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Water Main Break in Fairlington — Parts of north Fairlington had low or no water pressure for most of the day Monday due to a water main break. [Twitter]

Remembering Obama’s Local Bookstore Visit — Even four years later, not a day goes by when One More Page Books owner Eileen McGervey doesn’t hear from someone about the time in 2012 when President Obama visited her store on Small Business Saturday. She recounted how it happened recently on a local public radio show. [WAMU]

Carpool Still Hanging On — Once believed to be closing this fall to make way for a redevelopment, popular Ballston bar Carpool is now likely to remain open through March 2017, co-owner Mark Handwerger tells ARLnow.com. The Washington Business Journal reported last month that the redevelopment has hit a bit of a snag.

Yorktown Senior Joins Chamber — Mark Yates, Jr., a senior at Yorktown High School and the founder of a lawn care business, has joined the Arlington Chamber of Commerce as a member after participating in the Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy. [Arlington Chamber]

Jonathan Kinney Honored — Prominent local attorney Jonathan Kinney was honored by the Arlington Community Foundation earlier this month, in front of a record luncheon crowd of nearly 400. Despite his low-key demeanor, Kinney, a land use and estate planning attorney, was described as “Arlington’s most indispensable citizen.” [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Morning Notes

Autumn leaves and the American flag (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

It’s Election Day — Arlington voters are heading to the polls today to vote in a number of state and local elections. The most closely-watched and competitive of these is the race for County Board. Democrats Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey are facing off against independents Mike McMenamin and Audrey Clement for two open seats. Other races include largely non-competitive races for county constitutional offices, House of Delegates and state Senate seats, and the Arlington School Board. Local polling places are open until 7 p.m. [Arlington County]

DJO Standout Profiled — Standout Bishop O’Connell High School linebacker Landan Word has been profiled by the website Scout.com. Word, who has committed to the University of Virginia, is “physical [and] smart in way he plays,” the sports website says. [Scout]

Beyer Gets Spelling Kudos from POTUS — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) received a handwritten note from President Obama congratulating him on his recent National Press Club spelling bee victory. The president called the win “seriously impressive” and noted “I use spell check.” [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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President Obama addresses students and parents at Washington-Lee High SchoolPresident Obama will be traveling to Fort Myer this afternoon, according to the president’s official White House schedule.

The visit to the military base next to Arlington National Cemetery will come after the president holds a joint press conference in the White House Rose Garden with Chinese president Xi Jinping.

“Later in the afternoon, the President will deliver remarks at an Armed Forces Full Honors Retirement Ceremony in honor of General Martin Dempsey,” the president’s schedule says.

The president is expected to arrive at the base via motorcade, assisted in part by the Arlington County Police Department.

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Morning Notes

Biker pooch during Rolling Thunder 2015 (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Honoring War Dead at ANC — At the annual Memorial Day service in Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, President Obama said the country should “never stop trying to fully repay” Americans who have died in battle. It was the first Memorial Day in 14 years without a major American ground war — the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan ended in December. Over the weekend, Boy Scouts and other volunteers placed some 88,000 roses on the graves at the cemetery. [Associated Press, Stars and Stripes]

Post Endorses Cristol, Fallon — The Washington Post’s Editorial Board has endorsed Katie Cristol and Peter Fallon in the upcoming Democratic Arlington County Board primary. The Post lauded Cristol’s “drive and intelligence” and Fallon’s “command of policy.” The political action committee that represents Arlington public school teachers, meanwhile, has endorsed Fallon and Christian Dorsey. [Washington Post, InsideNova]

Bus Fire on I-395 — A tour bus caught fire on I-395 Saturday evening, near the 14th Street Bridge and the Pentagon. No injuries were reported. [InstagramNBC Washington]

County’s Bond Rating Reaffirmed — The three major credit rating agencies have reaffirmed Arlington’s triple-A bond rating, the highest rating possible. There are only 39 counties, including Arlington, that have a perfect triple-triple-A rating. “Retaining the County’s AAA ratings is critical to ensuring the absolute lowest interest rates on our General Obligation bonds,” County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in a press release. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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President Obama speaks at Washington-Lee High SchoolPresident Obama will tour a federal cybersecurity office in Arlington Tuesday afternoon.

Obama is scheduled to visit the Ballston-based National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, which is part of the Dept. of Homeland Security.

The president “will talk about efforts to increase information-sharing between companies and the government and to improve collaboration against threats,” according to the LA Times.

The visit is expected to result in significant temporary road closures in Arlington. It comes a day after terrorist supporters hacked the Twitter and YouTube accounts of United States Central Command.

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2200 Crystal Drive (photo via Vornado)President Obama’s announcement on Nov. 20 that he would take executive action on immigration is leading to a hiring boom in Crystal City.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration announced on Monday that it’s hiring about 1,000 full-time federal and contract workers in Crystal City to help implement the president’s executive action, which will grant temporary legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants and help highly-skilled workers stay in the U.S.

Salaries at the facility will range from $34,415 to $157,100, various news outlets reported.

That’s good news for Crystal City and its high office vacancy rate. We’re told the new workers will be based at Crystal Plaza 4, a 46-year-old office building at 2200 Crystal Drive. The federal government is backfilling a General Services Administration lease for the Vornado-owned building.

Republicans have decried the president’s action and are criticizing the new “hiring binge.”

“This facility is a clear symbol of the President’s defiance of the American people, their laws, and their Constitution,” Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions said, in a statement.

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Morning Notes

Dogwood flowers in Arlington (Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick)

Obama Visit Boosted Business at Bookstore — The November 2012 visit to One More Page Books (2200 N. Westmoreland Street) by President Obama and his family boosted revenue at the East Falls Church store by 20 percent. The visit still continues to benefit the store, according to owner Eileen McGervey. [Washington Business Journal]

Miss Gay Arlington Crowned — The new 2014 Miss Gay Arlington is Coco B. Colby. Colby was crowned after besting three competitors during the April 18 event at Freddie’s Beach Bar in Crystal City. Previous Miss Gay Arlington winners include Shaunda Leer, Stardust and Diamond D. Bottoms. [InsideNoVa]

County Promotes Building Safety — After a series of high-profile construction accidents this past fall, Arlington County has officially proclaimed May to be Building Safety Month. “Building safety is our focus every day, although most of that work happens behind the scenes,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette, in a statement. [Arlington County]

Crystal City Power Purge Today — Crystal City is holding its annual Power Purge and Shred from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. today. The event, at 1900 Crystal Drive, allows residents to recycle electronics, paper and to get rid of household paints and supplies. There’s also a specialty hard drive crusher for data security. [Crystal City]

Yorktown, W-L Soccer Game Ends in Tie — A “hard-fought, exhausting” boys soccer match between Yorktown and Washington-Lee ended in a scoreless tie Tuesday night. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

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