Prosecutor: Black Asked for Help Killing Wife — At a bond hearing Monday, prosecutors said that David Black asked a friend to help kill his wife in a classic case of domestic violence. Black was denied bond and will remain in jail, charged with killing his estranged wife Bonnie Black in their home near Pentagon City. The trial is set for Feb. 29. [WUSA 9]
One of the Worst Traffic Bottlenecks — Arlington has one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the country, according to the American Highway Users Alliance. I-395 between Washington Blvd and the GW Parkway ranked No. 26 on the list, wasting 1.1 million hours and 322,600 gallons of fuel annually. [WTOP]
TSA HQ Move May Be Delayed — The Transportation Security Administration’s headquarters may be staying in Pentagon City past 2017 after all. A judge has halted the TSA’s move to Alexandria in response to a protest of the lease bidding process by a losing bidder. [Government Executive]
Arlington GOP May Ditch Office — In order to save money, the Arlington County Republican Committee is considering giving up the $1,100 per month office it rents in the Dominion Arms apartment building. [InsideNova]
See Something, Type Something — Arlington County’s website has a “Homeland Security Tip Form,” for reporting “suspicious activity that may be related to terrorism” in Arlington. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
New Gymnastics, Aquatics Fee Structure — In her FY 2016 budget, County Manager Barbara Donnellan is proposing a new fee structure for gymnastics and aquatics teams. The fees will recover “no more than 100 percent of direct costs,” and would be a savings of around 15 percent compared to the current fees. [Arlington County]
Tighter Security at Fort Myer — Some bicyclists are worried that tighter security measures put in place this week at Fort Myer will limit non-military personnel from accessing the base. Cyclists often use Fort Myer to travel safely between south Arlington and north Arlington without having to ride on Columbia Pike. Arlington County, meanwhile, has been working on some trail projects that would make north-to-south and south-to-north bike travel safer. [Greater Greater Washington]
Goldstein Announces School Board Run — Reid Goldstein has announced that he’s running for Arlington School Board. Goldstein, a “longtime Arlington schools, County and neighborhood advocate,” will seek the seat of the retiring Abby Raphael. “We must be honest and diligent stewards of our community’s money and trust as we work to preserve and improve the high quality of Arlington’s schools, even as enrollment increases,” Goldstein said in a press release.
National Airport Hits Passenger Record — Reagan National Airport set a new record for passenger traffic in 2014. Some 20.8 million passengers used Reagan last year, a 2 percent increase. With traffic decreasing at Dulles International, MWAA plans to share as much as $300 million in revenue from Reagan to Dulles over a 10 year span. [Washington Business Journal]
New Marine Corps Sergeant Major — Assuming they’re not deterred by the cold, the Marine Corps will hold a ceremony this morning at the Iwo Jima War Memorial, celebrating the appointment of Sgt. Maj. Ronald Green. Green will serve as the Corps’ 18th sergeant major, its highest enlisted rank. [Marine Corps Times]
Nick Anderson Leaving Arrowine — Former ARLnow.com “Beermonger” columnist Nick Anderson has announced that he is leaving Arrowine. Saturday will be his last day at the Lee Highway beer and wine store. [Arrowine]
Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok
New Security Measures at Schools — This school year, Arlington Public Schools has three additional police officers assigned as school resource officers at elementary schools. The school system has also added 30 new video cameras in secondary schools, which can be viewed by the county’s 911 call center and by school resource officers. [Washington Post]
Stamos Back in the ACDC Fold — Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos has apparently been welcomed back into the good graces of the Arlington County Democratic Committee. Stamos voluntarily stepped down from the committee after she endorsed independent candidate John Vihstadt over Democrat Alan Howze. [InsideNova]
Bracket Room to Celebrate Anniversary — Contrary to the pessimistic predictions of its critics, Clarendon sports bar The Bracket Room is about to celebrate its one year anniversary and seems to be thriving. Former Bachelorette cast member Chris Bukowski opened the bar, at 1210 N. Garfield Street, on Sept. 5, 2013. Bracket Room is planning a birthday party on Saturday, Sept. 6. [Clarendon Nights]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Foreign intelligence agencies often recruit spies and double agents within the American government by targeting federal employees in financial distress. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) says the passage of a bill in the House of Representatives today will prevent those intelligence agencies from finding financially-troubled feds with only a few clicks of the mouse.
Moran applauded the passage of bill S. 3625, which will delay certain provisions of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act from taking effect. The provisions would have required automatic online posting of the financial disclosure forms of 28,000 senior federal employees (GS-15 and SES level). The forms could reveal information about employees’ stock portfolio, real estate investments, and retirement funds.
In an Op-Ed in the Federal Times, Moran wrote:
Under the proposed online system our enemies around the world might be able to search thousands of records with a single keystroke — anonymously exploiting an easily accessible database to search for subtle differences in financial disclosures.
If analyzed closely, these differences might betray the identity of members of the intelligence community, while simultaneously providing information to our enemies as to which employees might be struggling financially — a known criteria used by foreign intelligence services to target individuals for espionage.
The bill, which will now head to the president’s desk following today’s voice vote in the House, will delay the online reporting provisions for senior federal employees from taking effect until Dec. 8. It also requires a study of “issues raised by website publication of financial disclosure forms” by the National Academy of Public Administration.
Earlier this month, a federal judge blocked enforcement of the STOCK Act until Oct. 31, after the American Civil Liberties Union argued that posting employees’ financial information is a violation of their privacy.
The full press release from Rep. Moran’s office, after the jump.
Photo courtesy Andrew Clegg
According to a leading jobs website for those with security clearances, the average security-cleared employee in the Washington region earned $97,838 in 2011.
ClearanceJobs.com says that figure represents a 4 percent increase from one year ago. By comparison, the national average security-cleared salary was $76,152 in 2011. According to the website’s survey, there was no pay gap between men and women working in the same position.
Though average salaries may be high, security-cleared workers are increasingly worried about the future. The survey — of 11,000 security-cleared professionals — indicated that 43 percent were afraid of the loss of contract funding, 40 percent were afraid of increased work loads as a result of staff cuts, 38 percent were afraid of their position being eliminated, and 31 percent worried about their position being relocated, perhaps as a result of BRAC.
Passenger Protests, Midwest Weather Could Cause Airport Delays — Flying out of Dulles or Reagan National Airport today could be a challenge. On the busiest travel day of the Thanksgiving holiday, thousands of passengers are planning a nationwide, grassroots revolt against the TSA’s use of full-body scanners. Instead of going through the machines, they will protest by insisting on a time-consuming pat-down. That, combined with a storm system in the upper Midwest could cause delays. So far, however, flights at DCA and IAD are on time. More from the Washington Post.
Crystal City Renaissance Hotel To Open in March — A new LEED-certified Renaissance Hotel is coming to the quickly-developing area south of Crystal City and north of Potomac Yard. The hotel, located at 2800 South Potomac Avenue, is expected to open in March 2011. Rooms will initially start at $299 per night, according to HotelChatter.com.
Wilson’s on Whitlow’s is “Coming Soon” — TBD has photos of Wilson’s on Whitlow’s, the new Tiki bar above Whitlow’s on Wilson. Owner Greg Cahill says the bar’s opening is “coming soon,” pending county permits. Place your bets in the comments section on what will come first: the area’s first snowfall or the opening of Whitlow’s rooftop bar. More from TBD.
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA
Rep. Jim Moran couldn’t give a hoot about the controversial “naked” body scans and saucy pat-downs now in place at America’s airports.
The recently re-elected congressman told TBD’s NewsTalk that he supports measures to make air travel safer, even if they’re invasive or embarrassing.
“I could care less whether somebody feels me up or somebody sees what I look like without my clothes… I think it’s something you just have to live with.”
Do you agree?
Lyon Hall Opening by Mid-April — Lyon Hall manager Andrew Limberg tells the Washington Post that they’ve passed their inspections and expect to open within two weeks. Writes WaPo’s Julia Beizer: “Let’s give it up for Arlington, right? Crazy stuff happening over there.” More from today’s Going Out Gurus chat (near the bottom).
Pentagon Security Heightened — The Pentagon police agency will step up its screening of visitors and will conduct more random checks of employees, according to the Associated Press. The Pentagon Force Protection Agency will also improve communication protocols at its command center. The new security measures follow last month’s shooting outside the Pentagon Metro station.
Arlington Volunteer Blog Launched — The Community Volunteer Network has launched a new blog. CVN is a social network that brings 20- and 30-somethings together through community service in Arlington.
Bike Show Planned for April 8 — Not-for-profit bike shop Phoenix Bikes is holding a bike show one week from today in Ballston. The third-annual show will feature an art show, a silent auction, a raffle for free bikes donated by local shops, food, and speeches by local movers and shakers in the bike world. More from People-Powered Arlington.