(Updated 9:40 p.m.) A press conference on the front steps of a Rosslyn townhouse drew noisy protesters Monday afternoon, which in turn prompted a call to Arlington County Police.
Several ACPD officers responded to the 1500 block of N. Colonial Terrace for a noise complaint around 3 p.m. They arrived near the end of a press conference involving a trio of conservative provocateurs — Jack Burkman, Jacob Wohl and Milo Yiannopoulos — outside of Burkman’s home.
Burkman and Wohl have organized a recent series of press conferences, mostly to accuse prominent Democrats of sexual malfeasance. Today’s event focused on similarly lurid-but-lacking-in-evidence accusations against Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
The 2:30 p.m. press conference featured the claims against Cruz being read by the female accuser, while Burkman and Wohl stood nearby and Yiannopoulos sat to the side, checking his phone and smoking a cigarette.
During the press conference, a protester played a banjo while another shouted, blew an air horn and tossed donuts at the participants. A live stream of the event shows about two dozen people, including journalists, protesters and curious onlookers, in attendance.
Police responded to the area after receiving a report of disorderly protesters, arriving around 3 p.m.
“Is anybody in charge of the protest that wants to talk?” an officer asks. Attendees answered that there was no organized protest.
With police still on scene, a man who identified himself as a resident started to yell at the bystanders, complaining about the noise.
“I want all of you out of this f—ing neighborhood now,” he said. “You are bothering me.”
“Seriously, can you make them leave?” he asked police, who continued keeping watch near a street corner.
“This is such a s—show circus,” commented one of the people standing on the sidewalk.
Police could be seen starting to leave at the end of the livestream, as the attendees started to disperse. An ACPD spokeswoman told ARLnow the event “disbanded without incident.”
According to ACPD spokeswoman Kirby Clark:
At approximately 2:48 p.m. on October 21, police were dispatched to the report of loud noise and traffic obstructions in the area of North Colonial Terrace and North Ode Street related to an event being held in the area. Upon arrival, officers made contact with parties on scene and the event concluded without incident.
ACPD has not been made aware of community concerns regarding other similar events at this location. Residents who have specific community concerns regarding this event or others are advised to contact the Community Outreach Team for this area by email ([email protected] arlingtonva.us) or phone (703-228-4184).
Burkman was previously in the news locally after he was shot in the parking garage of the Key Bridge Marriott hotel in Rosslyn.
A demonstrator begins to throw donuts at Jacob Wohl… pic.twitter.com/gNfhx6uowG
— Zachary Petrizzo (@ZTPetrizzo) October 21, 2019
A corn hat banjo player has arrived at the presser… pic.twitter.com/y9xdhBNSNm
— Zachary Petrizzo (@ZTPetrizzo) October 21, 2019
Screenshots via Ford Fischer/Twitter
It’s Columbus Day — Despite the federal holiday, all Arlington County government offices, courts, libraries and facilities will be open today. Barring breaking news, ARLnow will be publishing on a limited schedule today. [Arlington County]
Theft from Casual Adventure — From an Arlington County Police crime report: “At approximately 11:35 a.m. on October 10, police were dispatched to the late report of a larceny. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect entered a business at approximately 5:30 p.m. on October 9, selected numerous fleece jackets before fleeing the scene without paying.” [Arlington County]
ACPD Warns of Phone Scam — “Residents have reported receiving unsolicited phone calls from individuals fraudulently claiming to be technicians with Dominion Energy. These individuals accuse the victims of having overdue bills which must immediately be paid, or their power will be disconnected. The caller then provides a fraudulent claim number and phone number where the funds may be paid and often requests payment using a prepaid debit or gift card.” [Arlington County]
Governor Issues Drought Watch — “Governor Ralph Northam today announced a statewide drought watch advisory for the Commonwealth of Virginia. A drought watch is intended to increase awareness of current conditions that are likely to precede a significant drought event.” [Press Release, Capital Weather Gang]
Circus Returns to Rosslyn — Updated at 3:45 p.m. — Conservative provocateurs Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl are holding yet another press conference this week outside Burkman’s Rosslyn townhouse. The duo say they will be joined by a “longtime drug dealer” for prominent Democratic members of Congress. [Twitter]
Nearby: Four Mile Run Trail in Alexandria to Reopen Soon — “A bridge spanning the last gap on the Alexandria side of the Four Mile Run Trail has been put into place, but the trail remains impassable for pedestrians.” [ALXnow]
Pedestrian Struck on Crash-Prone Stretch — “A pedestrian was struck on Washington Blvd in front of Washington-Liberty HS around 10 a.m. this morning. The victim was transported to a hospital with minor injuries, per scanner traffic. This stretch has seen numerous pedestrians struck by drivers over the past few years.” [Twitter]
Local Leaders from Wa. Coming to Talk Amazon — “How do you prepare for Amazon.com Inc. when the company plans to drastically grow in your city? That’s what city officials from Bellevue, Washington, hope to learn from our own Arlington, as they send an envoy to meet with county leaders Thursday. The communities… each expect to house more than 4,000 Amazon employees by 2022.” [Washington Business Journal]
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Approaching — “On Saturday, October 26, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Arlington County Police Department, Arlington County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 18th opportunity in nine years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. This disposal service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.” [Arlington County]
Special Burial and Flyover at ANC — “A pilot who died during WWII was finally laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Air Force Major Donn Young’s remains were recovered decades after his B-25 bomber crashed in Papua New Guinea… The burial happened, in part, because of an adventurous entrepreneur.” [WJLA]
Another Wohl, Burkman Press Conference — Conservative provocateurs Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl held yet another press conference outside Burkman’s Rosslyn area townhouse to accuse another Democratic presidential candidate of sexual impropriety. The press conference was disrupted by a bagpiper, a process server and a man in a corn suit. [Twitter]
Congressman: Congress Must ‘Do Something’ About Trump — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) tweeted yesterday: “President Trump just said out loud that it’s OK to betray our Kurdish allies and allow the release of 11,000 ISIS fighters because ‘they’re going to be escaping to Europe.’ He’s out of completely out of control and Congress has to do something about it.” [Twitter]
Photo courtesy Catherine Ladd
VC Firms Eyeing Arlington, D.C. — “Two venture capital firms that have invested mostly in tech companies in the middle of the country are keeping their eye on Greater Washington in the wake of Amazon.com Inc.’s decision to place its second headquarters in Arlington.” [Washington Business Journal]
Owl Rescued from Middle School — “Last week, [the Animal Welfare League of Arlington] got a call from a local middle school that an owl was trapped in their boiler room. Officers Toussaint and White responded and were able to safely remove the owl.” [Facebook, Twitter]
Five-Vehicle Crash on Route 50 — At least two people were reported injured after a five-vehicle crash on Route 50 yesterday afternoon. [Twitter]
Wild Press Conference Near Rosslyn — “Pro-Trump operatives Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman… hosted a bizarre press conference in the driveway of Burkman’s Arlington, Va. home, while being frequently interrupted by noise from nearby garbage trucks.” [The Daily Beast]
Arlington Org Office Attacked in Kabul — The Kabul, Afghanistan office of Crystal City-based non-governmental organization Counterpart International was attacked yesterday. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the deadly terror attack. [CNN, Counterpart International]
Nearby: Silver Diner Coming to Alexandria — Silver Diner is seeking permission to open a new location at 4610 King Street, in a new development in the City of Alexandria, near Arlington’s Claremont and Fairlington neighborhoods. [Patch]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Metro Assault Suspect Arrested — The registered sex offender from Maryland suspected of groping a woman on an Orange Line train in Arlington has been arrested by Metro Transit Police “following media coverage” of the case. MTPD is now looking for additional victims. [Twitter]
Scott Parker Eyes D.C. for Next Venture — “Boston burger chain Tasty Burger has closed its sole D.C. location… Eater has learned Scott Parker — the restaurant owner of millennial-targeted bars such as Clarendon’s Don Tito and Ballston’s A-Town Bar and Grill — is pursuing a project at the Shaw location of the former burger joint in the Atlantic Plumbing building (2108 8th Street NW).” [Eater]
Circus Coming to Rosslyn — Jack Burkman, conspiracy theorist and Rosslyn area resident, says he’s going to hold a press conference at the Rosslyn Holiday Inn tomorrow to “reveal the first of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sex assault victims” — though he has not offered any evidence to back up the accusation and is now facing a possible FBI investigation into a woman’s claim that he tried to pay her to testify that she was abused by Mueller. Burkman’s last Rosslyn press conference, in which he promised a bombshell revelation, was instead panned by fellow conspiracy theorists. [The Atlantic, Daily Beast, Heavy]
Arlington Nursing Homes Lauded — Two Arlington nursing homes — ManorCare and The Jefferson — were included in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Nursing Home” list. A total of 2,975 facilities across the U.S. received the “Best Nursing Home” distinction. [WTOP]
Caps Host Special Hockey Players in Ballston — Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals hosted more than 80 players from the American Special Hockey Association at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Ballston on Tuesday. [NHL]
Snowy Winter Ahead? — “Consulting meteorologists and weather companies like AccuWeather and the Weather Company unanimously agree: Washington is in for a snowy winter. So, now, do the forecasters you watch on television.” [Washington Post]
Nearby: 5K to Raise Money for Pittsburgh Victims — A 5K run/walk has been planned to raise money for the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue shooting victims and the non-profit refugee group HIAS. The run is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 2 along the C&O Canal Towpath in D.C. [Active, Safety and Health Foundation]
Bond Referenda Total Almost $250 Million — “Arlington voters in November will be asked to pass judgment on four bond referenda totaling just under a quarter-billion dollars, under a proposal slated for County Board approval on July 14… The bond package now on the table includes $103 million for schools; $75.57 million for transportation; $37.015 million for community infrastructure; and $29.33 million for parks and recreation.” [InsideNova]
Virginia Ranks High As Pro-Business State — CNBC has listed Virginia as the No. 4 top state for business in the U.S. Texas was ranked No. 1. Virginia was ranked seventh by CNBC in 2017. [Virginia.gov]
Conspiracy Theorists Denounce Conspiracy Theory — Yesterday, lobbyist and conspiracy theorist Jack Burkman held a press conference at a Rosslyn hotel to reveal a mystery witness who supposedly heard government agents bragging about their role in the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. The press conference did not go as planned and has since been denounced by many who believe Rich’s murder is a political conspiracy — just not the conspiracy outlined by the “witness.” [Daily Beast, Twitter, Gateway Pundit]
The possibility of Washington-Lee High School being renamed has prompted a Republican U.S. Senate candidate to schedule a press conference outside of tonight’s Arlington School Board meeting.
The School Board is set to discuss proposed revisions to its school naming policy Thursday night. In a presentation, school staff will recommend a series of changes that will help guide Arlington Public Schools as it selects names for a number of new facilities, including the new building in Rosslyn that will house the H-B Woodlawn and Stratford programs.
But much of the public attention will be focused on a recommendation to start a process that could remove Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s name from Washington-Lee. APS staff says the inclusion of Lee’s name would not meet the revised naming policy, which calls for APS to consider the namesake’s legacy.
“Robert E. Lee’s ‘principal legacy’ (i.e. the key activity, advocacy or accomplishment for which the individual is most known) was as General of the Confederate Army leading forces against the U.S. forces,” the staff presentation says. “This action does not reflect the APS mission, vision, and core values/beliefs.”
Prince William County Board Chairman Corey Stewart, who’s running for U.S. Senate in Virginia and seeking the GOP nomination, is planning a press conference outside the meeting.
In a media advisory, Stewart’s campaign says the press conference will be held at 5:30 p.m., outside the meeting at the Syphax Education Center (2110 Washington Blvd).
Stewart, who has been outspoken in defense of Confederate monuments and names, says he will be joined at the press conference “by concerned Washington-Lee High School alumni.”
The staff presentation notes that APS “received numerous renaming requests [for Washington-Lee] after August 11-12, 2017 events in Charlottesville, Va.” Following the “alt-right” rally and the death of counter-demonstrator Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Stewart issued a statement decrying “Democrats and the media” and the “drive to squelch free speech.”
Photo via Google Maps
Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado and former Arlington County Board member Walter Tejada will be among those speaking at an Arlington press conference on “Donald Trump’s Year of Hate” tomorrow.
The press conference is being held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Atlacatl Restaurant (4701 Columbia Pike).
Machado, who won the pageant in 1996 as a contestant from Venezuela, became a U.S. citizen in May, prompting a congratulatory tweet from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Machado is an avowed opponent of Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, accusing him calling her “Miss Piggy” after she gained 50 pounds within months of winning the crown.
On Wednesday, former Miss Universe Alicia Machado and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta will join People For the American Way (PFAW) to mark the one year anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and launch PFAW’s new campaign, ‘Donald Trump’s Year of Hate.’
Since June 16th of last year, when he infamously described Mexican immigrants as “rapists” at his campaign launch, Trump has only increased his attacks against immigrants and Latinos. Starting on Thursday, new Spanish-language ads from PFAW will run for four weeks, highlighting Donald Trump’s campaign of hate thus far.
The press conference on Wednesday, co-hosted by CASA in Action (Virginia), will include more details on the ad launch. At the event, Alicia Machado, former Miss Universe winner, will share her story about why she’s becoming a citizen to vote against Donald Trump. She will discuss her personal interactions with Donald Trump, including how he derogatorily referred to her as “Miss Housekeeping” and “Miss Piggy.” Dolores Huerta, civil rights leader who co-founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez, is president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, and is a board member of PFAW, will discuss the importance of the Latino vote and speak out against the hate Donald Trump has displayed over the last year. Virginia leader and former elected official J. Walter Tejada will focus on the Latino vote in Virginia, and leaders from PFAW and CASA in Action will speak about their stand against Trump’s bigotry.
Sun Gazette Endorses Garvey — County Board Chair Libby Garvey has picked up the endorsement of the Sun Gazette newspaper in her re-election battle against Democratic challenger Erik Gutshall. “[Garvey’s] efforts, however inelegant at times they have been, to press needed reforms on an elected body too long aloof from the public should be rewarded,” the paper wrote. [InsideNova]
Gutshall Holds Education Press Conference — Erik Gutshall held a press conference with former School Board Chair Elaine Furlow and others yesterday evening. Gutshall called on his opponent, Libby Garvey, to “stop dragging her feet” on the County Board and implement the key recommendations of the Community Facilities Study in order to more quickly add needed school capacity. [Blue Virginia]
Gutshall’s Hyperlocal Mailers — Erik Gutshall’s campaign is sending postcard-sized mailers to potential primary voters, targeted by neighborhood and printed with the names of supporters in that neighborhood. [Twitter]
CivFed Aims to Plant 100 Trees — The Arlington Civic Federation, which turned 100 this year, is celebrating its centennial by encouraging the planting of 100 trees around the county. The Civic Federation was formed in 1916, four years before Arlington was even called “Arlington.” [InsideNova]
Nearly two weeks of continuous single tracking between East Falls Church and Ballston, on the Orange and Silver Metro lines, begins tomorrow (Saturday) morning.
Major travel disruptions are expected during Metro’s maintenance “surge,” dubbed “SafeTrack.” WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, along with Arlington County Board members Libby Garvey and Christian Dorsey, held a press conference this afternoon at the East Falls Church Metro Station to discuss preparations.
“We are going to make this work, it is a team effort,” said Garvey, touting Arlington’s plans to assist commuters and ease congestion. “We’re all working together.”
Metro riders can seek commuting alternatives such as carpooling or telecommuting. Free shuttle buses between Ballston and East Falls Church and Ballston and West Falls Church will be offered during the project. Additional Capital Bikeshare stations are being installed at the East Falls Church station in preparation for the work.
The single tracking will last for 13 days, ending on Thursday, June 16.
According to Wiedefeld, the worst impacts on the Orange and Silver lines will be west of Ballston. Orange Line trains will run only every 18 minutes between Vienna and Ballston, while Silver Line trains will run every 18 minutes. Additional trains will be placed in service east of Ballston.
The biggest effects will be felt during rush hour — riders are being told to expect “extreme crowding and delays” in each direction.
“Remember, the reason we are doing this is to make the system more reliable and safer,” said Wiedefeld.
The track work is just the first of numerous SafeTrack projects planned over the next year, many of which will impact Arlington riders.
Arlington County streamed a video of the press conference on Facebook, and yesterday released a video discussing SafeTrack (below).
Rosslyn is getting some new street furniture, featuring a design that evokes the neighborhood’s skyline at night.
The Rosslyn Business Improvement District held a press conference today to herald the arrival of the new sidewalk elements, which were designed by New York-based industrial designer Ignacio Ciocchini.
For now, the new items — benches, trash and recycling cans, bike racks, mobile information kiosks, newspaper box corrals and informational signs — have only been installed around the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Oak Street. Officials will gather public feedback on the new streetscape design before starting the process of installing such items throughout the Rosslyn commercial district.
“The purpose behind creating a unique streetscape design is to create a distinct contemporary identity for Rosslyn in addition to encouraging pedestrian activity, connectivity and enjoyment of the neighborhood,” said Lucia de Cordre, Urban Design Director of the Rosslyn BID, in a statement. “The elements were also created to extend the benefits of current redevelopment projects and the long-term vision of the Realize Rosslyn sector plan to the street level. This isn’t design just for aesthetics’ sake, this is a deliberate, functional approach toward supporting retail, walkability and an active public realm.”
County Board member John Vihstadt spoke at the unveiling today and praised the efforts to modernize Rosslyn, noting that the Rosslyn skyline, which inspired the new streetscape design, is often the public face of Arlington.
“Rosslyn is Arlington’s downtown, it’s Arlington’s front door,” he said. “That door needs to be open for businesses, residents and visitors so Arlington can thrive.”
“It was a great place to bring your grandmother,” he quipped.
Vihstadt said there are “unique things going on” in Rosslyn that will help ensure its desirability as an urban place that mixes office and residential uses.
“It’s not exactly Manhattan on the Potomac, but it’s not Mayberry either,” he said.
The full press release from the Rosslyn BID, after the jump.