Did you miss our Hot Topics on the Pike event last month?
Good news: our friends at Arlington Independent Media were there and they just released their video from the event (above).
The first half is a discussion among our opinion columnists — Mark Kelly (The Right Note), Peter Rousselot (Peter’s Take) and Larry Roberts (Progressive Voice) — on countywide issues. (The opinion columns will return next week. This week we are publishing candidate essays from the contenders for the Democratic School Board endorsement.)
The second half was a discussion of Columbia Pike-specific issues with County Board member Katie Cristol, Arlington County Transportation Commission Chair Chris Slatt, Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization Chair John Murphy and small business owner Michael “Mike on the Pike” Garcia.
Lucas Mendes, a 5’5″, 125 lbs. senior at Arlington’s Washington-Lee High School, has been named the 2016 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
Mendes was presented with his award from Gatorade by former pro soccer player and current ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman at Washington-Lee on Tuesday. (A video of the presentation is above.)
From Mendes’ profile on the Gatorade Player of the Year website:
At the time of his selection, Mendes had scored 10 goals and passed for five assists in his first year playing high school soccer after previously playing with D.C. United in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Ranked as the No. 24 recruit in the Class of 2016 by College Soccer News, he attended a training camp with the U.S. Soccer Under-20 Men’s National Team in January.
A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach. He has also donated his time to the Color of Leadership Conference, where he served as a mentor and participated in workshops to help middle school students of color discover and utilize resources to achieve their personal goals.
Mendes has accepted a full-ride scholarship from the University of Virginia, according to a press release from Arlington Public Schools (below, after the jump).
Just over a month ago, ARLnow held a discussion about Arlington’s tech industry, in what is perhaps the epicenter of the county’s tech scene: Crystal City.
- Viyas Sundaram, SVP of Sales for Snagajob
- Allison Phillips, D.C. General Manager of Shift Technologies
- Geoff Orazem, Co-Founder of Eastern Foundry
- Dominick Fuccillio, VP of Finance for Distil Networks
- Shavanna Miller, Founder of Bloompop
Above is the video from the event, courtesy of Arlington Independent Media.
So what did we learn? Here are just a few of the questions and answers.
Tell us a bit about your company.
Phillips: “Shift is a two-year-old startup that makes car resale easier. We handle all the paperwork, and take the stress out of it.”
Why do your companies choose Arlington?
Sundaram: “For us Arlington was a natural choice. Arlington offered a large residential piece and retail… [for] our employees who live nearby. It worked out geographically.”
What are some of the best opportunities for local tech?
Sundaram: “I think that there are a lot of high-tech companies but also lots of startups, so we get a balanced ecosystem. We are also in the D.C. area, this area has access to lots of political conversation.
What is your company working on right now?
Orazem: “We are creating a forum for people to ask questions about government cuts and revenue.”
You have offices all over the world, how do you keep everyone on the same page?
Fuccillo: “Big business problems in a small business is never good, we have to have really good communication. Webinar-based meetings with webcams definitely helps us connect a little bit better.”
Quotes compiled by Justin Funkhouser
— Rosslyn DC (@Rosslyn_DC) April 7, 2016
Two weeks before a teen girl was struck by a car and seriously injured in Ballston, a local resident tweeted a video of a car blowing by him as he crossed in the same crosswalk.
The resident tweeted the video at police, asking for more crosswalk enforcement.
Today, he and others are saying that police do not adequately enforce traffic laws to keep pedestrians safe.
— Rosslyn DC (@Rosslyn_DC) April 21, 2016
— Bentley (@BentleytheDog) April 21, 2016
— Chase Tralka (@ChaseTralka) April 21, 2016
— Circumlocuxon Cannon (@rcannon100) April 21, 2016
@ARLnowDOTcom As a driver, it is difficult to see if someone is waiting to cross. I'm careful about it, but lights would be a huge help!
— Stacey K (@StoiceK) April 21, 2016
It’s almost mosquito season in the D.C. area and Arlington County says it is “continuing to monitor” the potential danger from the Zika virus.
In a new county-produced video, Dr. Reuben Varghese, Chief of Arlington’s Public Health Division, said that there are no Zika-infected mosquitos in Arlington, but there have been travel-associated cases of Zika in the region.
Arlington County has an online “mosquito information center” that advises residents who want to protect themselves from mosquitos to drain standing water, dress in long sleeves and pants, stay indoors during dawn and dusk, and use mosquito repellent containing DEET.
GMU to Tweak Name of Scalia Law School — A week ago, after receiving $30 million in donations, George Mason University announced that it was naming its Arlington-based law school the “Antonin Scalia School of Law,” in honor of the late Supreme Court justice. The internet promptly went wild for the school’s would-be acronym: ASS Law or ASSoL. GMU noticed, and is now adjusting the name to the “Antonin Scalia Law School.” [Above the Law]
Porch Fire in High View Park — A small fire broke out yesterday on the porch of a house in the High View Park neighborhood, on the 2300 block of N. Dinwiddie Street, about two blocks from Fire Station No. 8. The fire marshal is investigating the incident. [Twitter]
County Live Streams First Commission Meeting — Arlington County live streamed a Planning Commission meeting for the first time Tuesday night. To re-live those 102 minutes of excitement, you can now view the meeting online, on-demand. [Arlington County]
Clarendon Farmers Market Returns Today — The Clarendon Farmers Market is back for the season today. The farmers market typically takes place next to the Metro station from 3-7 p.m. [Clarendon Alliance]
APS Open to Selling Naming Rights — There’s no indication that anyone has inquired about it, but the naming rights to Arlington’s high school football stadiums, gyms and theaters could be for sale for the right price. Arlington Public Schools says it would consider naming facilities after large donors. [InsideNova]
Rosslyn Startup Gets Big Investment — Rosslyn-based LiveSafe has received a $5.25 million investment from FedEx founder Fred Smith. LiveSafe describes itself as an “enterprise-class mobile safety communications platform.” [Commercial Appeal, PE Hub]
Flickr pool photo by Airamangel
A local TV news report from Clarendon took an ironic and not-safe-for-work turn Saturday night when a woman walked by and flashed the camera, live on the air.
Immediately after Goldberg began answering — “so far, Kimberly” — a woman walked by and flashed her breasts. The split-second moment was captured in this NSFW YouTube clip.
A bit flustered, Goldberg nonetheless continued his report, which highlighted how there were no major incidents and only nine minor arrests for drunken behavior during the bar crawl.
“So, anyway,” Goldberg said as the brief YouTube clip ended.
Hat tip to Keith Hall
It’s been a decade since its last public performance, but Arlington’s official song has now been recorded — and released on YouTube — for future generations.
The song is, well, a bit boring and dated, to be honest. But it is Arlington’s only official song and no one seems to eager to replace it.
The revival of the song has been spearheaded by county communications manager Peter Golkin. In December Golkin uploaded a scan of the sheet music — the first time the song has appeared on Arlington County’s website — and penned a press release recounting the County Board’s adoption of the song 45 years ago.
But back on the first Saturday morning of October 1970, a unanimous County Board deemed Ernest K. Emurian’s words and melody worthy of a place in Arlington’s official identity. Reasoning for such approval sits right there in the lyrics of the first verse: “[T]he songs of home are ones we really cherish/For home is the place we love the best.”
It was love in E flat and 4/4 time, consummated with a 10,000-copy print run funded by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, prime sponsor for the song’s adoption.
The composer, the Reverend Ernest Emurian, was already a local institution, a beloved and prolific man. Pastor of Cherrydale United Methodist Church, he had lived in the County for seven years before attempting his anthem for Arlington. The inspiration was his long-held belief that “if a place is worth living in, it is worth singing about.”
Golkin’s research suggests the last time the song was performed was at the opening of an Arlington Historical Society exhibit on county constitutional offices, in 2006. “VIPs listened politely but made no attempt to emulate the singing Board of ’70,” Golkin quipped.
Before that the song had been performed off and on at the Arlington County Fair, but was otherwise fading out of the public consciousness. That is, until now.
Among those performing the song in the video above are three members of the original teen chorus that serenaded the County Board before the song’s adoption in 1970. Also performing: three generations of Arlington’s Dodge-Strehle family, County Board aide Liza Hodskins and “Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark, who also wrote about the song in December.
The full list of performers, in order from left to right, after the jump.
The Super Tuesday primaries are upon us. On Tuesday, voters in Virginia and almost a dozen other states will head to the polls to select a Republican and a Democratic presidential nominee.
Will Hilary Clinton remain the Democratic favorite? Will Donald Trump retain his unlikely status as the Republican frontrunnner?
On Feb. 16, polls and statistics guru elections guru Nate Silver sat down with prominent George Mason University professor Tyler Cowen, as part of the “Conversations with Tyler” series at GMU’s Arlington campus.
The Mercatus Center at GMU has posted video (above) and a transcript of the discussion. Here are some of Silver’s predictions and observations.
On Silver’s initial Trump skepticism:
I got a little frustrated, because a lot of people were saying, “Trump’s instantly going to evaporate in the polls.” If you go back and look at what we wrote, we said, “That could happen, but there are also a lot of candidates – Pat Buchanan, and so forth, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum – who will get 20, 25, 30-something percent of the electorate, and we have a high-floor, low-ceiling type of candidate.”
Lots of unusual candidates have done well in early polls. Lots of unusual candidates have won Iowa or New Hampshire, not usually both, but one or the other. It’s the ability to consolidate the field after that, by becoming the consensus choice of the party that’s been more unusual. That assumption still might prove to be true.
On Marco Rubio’s chances:
I’ve been a Rubio optimist for a while, on the theory that he is the only candidate who really has appeal to all the various sectors and constituencies within the GOP, which may be a fraying party, but still, he has the highest favorability ratings in the party.
On Ted Cruz and the price of rigid ideology in the general election:
You can see that there’s a price for extremism. Not a price that can’t be overcome, if we go into a big recession or if Clinton or Bernie has huge problems, but Cruz would probably cost you three or four points relative to the median generic Republican.
On Trump’s potential pivot to the center in a general election:
But the most basic problem is that in an election between Sanders and Trump or Clinton and Trump, everything is quite left of center. Trump, when he was thinking about running as an independent in 1999-2000, had an eccentric platform. It involved single-payer health care, a wealth tax. He was anti-immigration, even then, but pro-choice.
He said explicitly, “I’m not bound by any party, really. I’ll probably reconsider my stances if I become the Republican nominee.”
On Bernie Sanders’ Democratic base of support:
Sanders, we haven’t really seen. Can he win states that are not very white and very liberal? Maybe he can. Nevada seems to be pretty close. I’m just saying, we haven’t really received that much information that would make you update your priors about Sanders all that much.
On Michael Bloomberg potentially entering the race as an independent candidate:
Obviously, in some ways, the climate could be as fertile as ever for some type of third candidate running, but Bloomberg, I don’t know. Number one, I’m not sure he differentiates all that well from Clinton, with whom he has a lot in common policy-wise, and Trump, with which he’s kind of the same character.
What do Arlington’s newest County Board members hope to accomplish in their new positions, why did they run and how do they plan to increase Millennial and minority participation in county government?
The full video from the event, via Arlington Independent Media, is above. Below are some of insights from the evening’s program, which included an audience question-and-answer session at the end.
Why did you want to run for County Board?
Cristol: “I decided to run because I thought Arlington could use some new perspectives. Everyone deserves representation.”
What are you hoping to accomplish year one?
Dorsey: “We’ve got a nearly 20 percent [office] vacancy rate, so I’m trying to get it down to 10 percent. We need to see some progress, each percent we can get rid of means $3 million in tax revenue that doesn’t have to be raised. That’s an extreme focus in this first year.”
How do you better include the input of Millennials and minorities in county government?
Cistol: “You start by listening to them, hearing what they have to say the obstacles are. When you talk to folks in the communities, people are generally willing to talk about them.”
Thoughts on the widening of I-66?
Cristol: “We are disappointed, I think widening is bad for the communities. We have tons of data that shows that widening is not wise. We are going to look very closely at environmental research that is required as a pre-requisite before the construction begins.”
What can you do to serve communities along Columbia Pike that have felt neglected since the cancellation of the streetcar project?
Dorsey: “These equity issues are decades long. I don’t see any Board preference in North Arlington. If we get the economic engines humming we have have a lot of potential. There’s also things that we can do to make South Arlington neighborhoods more appealing to investors.”
There are a lot of examples of local restaurants and businesses closing, even as many open. Is there anything the county can do about that?
Dorsey: “It’s our responsibility to make sure small businesses are able to thrive, instead of just recruiting the big ones. Going back to affordability, a reason small businesses aren’t able to thrive is because [owners] don’t have the money to.”
Thank you to our participants and to Mad Rose Tavern for hosting us. Details about the March ARLnow Presents event, which will be held in Crystal City and will focus on Arlington’s burgeoning tech scene, will be released soon.
Quotes compiled by Justin Funkhouser.
It was hard enough for many Arlington residents to leave their house during last weekend’s blizzard — literally, two-plus feet of snow blocked many doors from opening — so imagine how hard it was to run a restaurant during the storm.
On Tuesday night, at ARLnow Presents: Running a Restaurant in Arlington, several prominent Arlington restaurant owners told attendees how they pulled it off.
Scott Parker, co-owner of A-Town and Don Tito, said his company paid for staff members to stay in nearby hotels — the Hilton in Ballston and the Holiday Inn in Courthouse — so they could get to and from work safely.
“We booked a big block of rooms in both of those… it was a big slumber party with all of our staff,” Parker said. “We were worried that if we sent people home and they fought through the storm on Friday night, they would then have to fight through it again to get back to work on Saturday, and that wasn’t really fair.”
Mark Fedorchak, co-owner of Liberty Tavern, Northside Social and Lyon Hall, said he and his team managed to keep Liberty Tavern open all weekend courtesy of an employee with a big SUV.
“We had one staff member with an ’85 Ford Bronco with huge wheels, that was able to go around and pick people up and take them back home all weekend long,” Fedorchak said.
Tim Ma, chef and proprietor of Water and Wall in Virginia Square, opened the restaurant on Sunday with only two staff members: his general manager and a server.
“I was able to get out of my house but the rest of my staff wasn’t,” said Ma, who was a 2015 “Culinary Rising Star of the Year” Rammy Award nominee. “I went into the kitchen, no dishwasher and no cook, and cooked the entire day by myself. We ran the entire day, with decent business, by ourselves.”
The next ARLnow Presents event, featuring new County Board members Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey, will be held at Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Blvd) on Feb. 10.
County Moves to ‘Phase 4’ of Snow Cleanup — With all residential streets passable, Arlington County has moved to “Phase 4” of its snow removal operation. “Phase 4 will focus on clean up, widening primary and secondary routes, as well as addressing trouble spots in residential areas,” the county said. “Widening and hauling snow from major corridors will continue at night when it is safest — we will do our best to minimize disruption, but please expect some noise.” [Arlington County]
Heavy Traffic Again This Morning — Pretty much the entire stretch of northbound I-395 was a parking lot this morning, as the D.C. area continued to get back to work following this past weekend’s blizzard. Other traffic problem spots include eastbound Route 50, which was backed up starting around Courthouse, Washington Blvd around the Pentagon, and the southbound GW Parkway, which slowed near the first overlook.
McMenamin Digs Out Maywood Neighbors — One Arlington neighborhood that was particularly slow to be plowed after the blizzard was Maywood, along Lee Highway. Residents pitched in to clear the streets, including former independent County Board candidate Mike McMenamin, who “brought out his powerful snowblower and carved out walkways, driveways and helped clear a path for an Uber driver whose Chevy Suburban got stuck at the height of the storm.” [Washington Post]
Video: Marymount Swimmers Train in Florida — Want to think warm thoughts after this morning’s icy commute? Here’s a video of Arlington-based Marymount University’s swim team taking a recent training trip to Key West. [YouTube]
Photo courtesy Valerie Crotty
— Ben Celestino (@bencelestino) January 24, 2016
— Michael Peloquin (@mmp7700) January 23, 2016
Want to relive the snowstorm? Two new time-lapse videos from ARLNow readers show the effects of “Snowzilla” as it blanketed the area this weekend.
Another video that Youtube user Josh Wagner shot from his apartment in Pentagon City shows the monster storm’s progression between Friday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 8 a.m.
The pace of road paving in Arlington has more than tripled in the past five years, according to newly-released stats.
A new county-produced video (above) states that Arlington paved 91 lane miles of roadway in 2015. That’s up from 25 lane miles paved in 2009 and 30 lane miles paved in 2010.
Arlington County made “significant investments in road paving in 2015,” the video says, calling it “a banner year for roadwork.” The total cost of the paving program last year: $13 million.
The previously lethargic pace of road paving, combined with a number of unusually harsh winters, led to complaints from residents that Arlington’s roads were in poor shape, especially for a county that prides itself on providing a high level of government services.
The tide started to turn with the adoption of the FY 2013-2022 Capital Improvement Plan, which called for paving at least 72 lane miles per year to put the county back on an engineer-recommended 15 year paving cycle. Arlington has a total of 974 lane miles of county-maintained roadway.
In 2015, Arlington County paved portions of a number of major local roads, including Crystal Drive, Columbia Pike, Washington Blvd near Lee Hwy, and Army Navy Drive. The county was also especially proactive about filling potholes last year, filling 12,100 compared to the previous five-year average of 6,600 per year.
Mike Moon, Deputy Director of Operations for Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services, touted the county’s paving progress.
“The 91 lane miles we paved in 2015 was a doubling of our effort compared to 2012,” Moon said. “It was a significant effort and we’re really pleased with how the paving program went this year.”
The proof is in the pudding! Parks with game winner! 42-41 over Marshall – Boom! pic.twitter.com/OO4C5vqvWZ
— Wakefield Athletics (@WakeAthletics) January 13, 2016
A three-point shot with time expiring gave the Wakefield boys varsity basketball team the win at home over Marshall last night.
Trailing 35-41 with 3:28 to go, the Warriors’ defense stepped up and the team battled back to 39-41. With just seconds on the clock, Deng Nhial received an inbound pass and then fired it to Halil Parks, who was standing just beyond the three point line.
Parks drained the three with a jump shot for the game-winner, sending teammates and fans storming onto the court to celebrate the victory.