‘Pop-Up Hotel’ Opening in January — “WhyHotel” is the new name of a “pop-up hotel” in the Bartlett apartment building in Pentagon City. Starting in January, the hotel will offer 50 unleased, furnished apartments as hotel rooms. Although most of the building is leased, owner Vornado is experimenting with “WhyHotel” as a way to monetize new apartment buildings during the lease-up period. [Washington Business Journal]
School Board Responds to Student’s Letter — Arlington School Board Chair Nancy Van Doren has responded to an open letter published in the Washington-Lee Crossed Sabres student newspaper. The letter, which was widely shared across social media, took the school board to task for approving high school boundary refinements that were seemingly antithetical to APS’ diversity goals. Without addressing the diversity issue, Van Doren defended the process and encouraged students to participate in future high school boundary decisions. [PDF]
County Board Approves Polling Place Changes — The Arlington County Board on Tuesday approved a number of precinct and polling place changes, to take effect in time for next year’s elections. [Arlington County]
Memorial Bridge Worries — The deteriorating Memorial Bridge can’t handle heavy support traffic for the presidential inauguration next month, officials said in a briefing yesterday, according to reported Tom Sherwood. Such traffic will use the 14th Street Bridge instead. [Twitter]
Wreaths for Every Grave at Arlington Nat’l Cemetery — “Wreaths Across America announced Wednesday it has reached its goal to place about 245,000 wreaths in the cemetery ‘thanks to an outpouring of support.’ Earlier this week, the organization had said it was about 10,000 wreaths short of its goal.” [WTOP]
Polling Place Changes in the Works — Thanks to population growth, Arlington may be adding new polling places in Clarendon and Pentagon City areas. A number of other polling place changes have also been proposed following the Nov. 8 election. [InsideNova]
A Tale of Two Bishops — The Diocese of Arlington’s retiring bishop, Paul Loverde, prioritized parishioners on the periphery, posits a profile. His incoming successor, Michael Burbidge, “hopes to heal division in society.” Burbidge is set to be installed today at a mass at Arlington’s St. Thomas More Cathedral. [Angelus News, Crux]
Shirlington Light-Up Night Cancelled — After being postponed last week, the Shirlington holiday light-up event rescheduled for tonight has been cancelled due to rain. [Facebook]
A Burial at Arlington — Arlington National Cemetery conducts nearly 7,000 burials per year. The recent burial of a Green Beret, Staff Sgt. Kevin McEnroe, was especially heart-wrenching. McEnroe, 30, was one of three Green Berets killed in a shooting outside an air base in Jordan, where they were reportedly training moderate Syrian rebels. [Stars and Stripes]
Arlington Tops Clinton Vote Margin List — Arlington County, which has the highest percentage of residents with a college degree of any jurisdiction in the U.S. with a population over 50,000, also had the highest increase in vote margin for Hillary Clinton vs. Barack Obama in 2012. Clinton’s margin of victory in Arlington this year was 20.3 points higher than Obama’s. [Five Thirty Eight]
O’Leary on Clinton’s Victory Margin — Former Arlington County treasurer (and noted local election prognosticator) Frank O’Leary says the increase in the Democratic victory margin in Arlington reflects “a profound belief in government, particularly the federal government as the means of fulfilling the objectives expressed in the Preamble to the Constitution.”
DCA Ranks Poorly for Flight Cancellations — Reagan National Airport is the eighth-worst airport in the country for flight cancellations around the holidays, according to a new set of rankings. [WTOP]
Arlington Seeks Secret Santas — Arlington County is looking for volunteers to “brighten the holiday season for some of Arlington’s most vulnerable residents by taking part in the County’s annual Secret Santa program.” [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards
Official: No Voter Fraud in Arlington — On Sunday president-elect Donald Trump tweeted an accusation of “serious voter fraud” in several states, including Virginia. In response, Arlington’s top election official said there were no reports of voter fraud in the county, which Trump lost by a wide margin. “I want to see the evidence as to what the allegations are,” said Linda Lindberg. [WJLA, Fox 5]
County and APS Budget Forum — Arlington County and Arlington Public Schools will be holding a joint budget forum tomorrow (Wednesday) from 6-8 p.m. at Wakefield High School. “During this forum, participants will have the opportunity to share their priorities and ideas on the 2018 budget,” said a press release. [Arlington County]
Local College Student Dies — Nicole Orttung, a National Merit Scholar who graduated from Yorktown High School, died last Tuesday. Orttung was a student at Columbia University, where she was “known for her dedication to social justice and bright personality.” [Legacy]
Advice from a Still-Grieving Husband — Neal Lawson, whose wife Jennifer was killed by a passing dump truck while she was putting her toddler into a car seat, is still two-and-a-half years later, “managing his own loss and grief while balancing the emotional needs and daily schedules of his growing children.” He recently offered some advice for others dealing with profound loss. [Washington Post]
Donation from 9/11 5K — The annual Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K Race, which was held in September, helps to raise money for military and first responder charities. Among the donations from the race this year was a $21,000 donation to TAPS, which provides care to the survivors of fallen U.S. service members. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
In the wake of last night’s election, Arlington’s incoming bishop, Michael Burbidge, is calling for Americans to live in harmony and engage each other “in a civil and respectful manner.”
Bishop Burbidge issued the following statement Tuesday morning.
The democratic process in which we participated yesterday is one of our greatest blessings as a nation and the direct result of the precious gift of the freedom we have been given. We are now called to commend our new president and all other newly elected officials to God, that they may be guided by Our Lord as they prepare to take office and serve the common good of those entrusted to their care.
Regardless of who received our vote, now is the time to be reminded that the strength of our republic lies in our unity as fellow citizens and members of God’s holy family. Such relationships are the bedrock of our society and it is our sacred duty to foster them so that nothing divides us. When we live in such harmony, there will be true dialogue and the exchange of ideas will occur in a civil and respectful manner.
As Catholics, we are called to renew our commitments to bring our faith into the public arena and help shape public policies, especially with regard to the sacredness of human life at every moment; the dignity of each and every human person; the protection of religious freedom; the sanctity of marriage and family life; and the care of the poor and most needy in our midst. In this way, with God’s grace, we help to ensure that the next generation inherits a nation more civil, more ethical, and more devoted to achieving peace which is true and lasting.
Through the intercession of Mary, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States of America, may Our Lord Jesus continue to bless our country and guide us along the paths of authentic truth, liberty and justice, now and always.
“Unofficial turnout was a record high of 121,807 but because of population increases, that represents just 82 percent of our 148,154 registered voters, falling a little short of the 85 percent turnout record set in 1992,” said Arlington County Registrar Linda Lindberg.
That mirrors the 2012 election, in which numerical turnout set a record in Arlington but percentage-wise the turnout was just short of the record.
Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey won re-election last night. Her swearing-in ceremony has not yet been scheduled but “will likely take place next month,” a county press release (below) noted.
Garvey applauded Arlington voters for approving all four bond issues on the ballot.
“On behalf of County leadership, I want to thank our residents for supporting every bond measure on the ballot, making that commitment to better, safer roads, parks, community centers, fire stations and schools in Arlington,” she said in a statement. “We will work hard to make sure these funds will be invested wisely and managed carefully as a public trust in our shared future.”
For additional election results, see our updated election coverage.
Arlington voters on Tuesday re-elected Libby Garvey to the County Board as she concludes her year as Board Chair. Garvey won 70.11 percent of ballots cast with 72,542 votes in the Nov. 8 election according to 100 percent of results posted this morning by the Virginia State Board of Elections.
Garvey was first elected to the Board in March 2012 in a special election to complete the term of now-state Senator Barbara Favola. Garvey won a full four-year term that fall and now has been re-elected to serve through 2020. Her current year-long role as Board Chair concludes next month with the job traditionally taken up by another member in the new year.
“Thank you Arlington voters for once again taking to the polls in such large numbers and for continuing to place your trust in me,” Garvey said. “Most importantly, on behalf of County leadership, I want to thank our residents for supporting every bond measure on the ballot, making that commitment to better, safer roads, parks, community centers, fire stations and schools in Arlington. We will work hard to make sure these funds will be invested wisely and managed carefully as a public trust in our shared future.”
All bond referenda approved
Voters approved all four bond referenda on the ballot, representing $315,775,000 in investment to fund transportation, infrastructure, parks and Arlington Public Schools projects.
The bond referenda were:
Metro and Transportation: $58.79 million (passed with 78 percent of the vote)
Projects include: Arlington’s share of Metro’s capital program, street paving, bridge renovations, bike and walking safety enhancements, streetlight maintenance and conversions, transportation system and signal upgrades and neighborhood curb and gutter improvements.
Local Parks and Recreation: $19.31 million (passed with 76 percent of the vote)
Projects include: Park maintenance, land acquisition and open space, trail modernization, improvement work for Jennie Dean Park and Tyrol Hills Park.
Community Infrastructure: $98.85 million (passed with 75 percent of the vote)
Projects include: Replacement of old Lubber Run Community Center building, underground parking to expand Lubber Run green space, ADA upgrades for Lubber Run courts and playground areas, parking deck for Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, increased neighborhood conservation support, facilities maintenance, Courthouse Complex renovations and infrastructure, Nauck Town Square and infrastructure, Barcroft gymnastics expansion, expanded childcare for County employees, critical systems infrastructure and replacement of Fire Station 8 facility.
Arlington Public Schools: $138.83 million (passed with 79 percent of the vote)
Projects include: an addition at the Stratford building to add 339 seats, the new school at the Wilson site to add an estimated 775 seats, renovation of the Career Center/Arlington Tech to add 300 seats, planning and design to build an additional 1300 secondary seats at locations to be determined, and HVAC, roofing and other infrastructure improvement projects at existing APS buildings.
While we were discussing the election from an Arlington perspective, a political earthquake of epic proportions was underway.
As the night wore on, what seemed unfathomable — based on polls, pundits and everything else — slowly became reality: Donald J. Trump was elected as the next president of the United States of America.
Last night we asked local elected officials and others — and we’ll be asking again today — what this means, exactly, for Arlington and for Virginia, which in the end voted for Hillary Clinton.
In the meantime, as you’re waking up this morning to the final election results, which of the following best describes your mood?
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
(Updated at 11:30 a.m.) Local candidates celebrated victories Tuesday night while shocked Democrats watched the presidential election slip out of their grasp.
County Board Chair Libby Garvey will serve another term after defeating independent Audrey Clement. With all absentee ballots counted, Garvey and Clement have 71 and 27 percent of the vote, respectively.
“I’d like to give a shout-out to my opponent, Audrey Clement,” said Garvey in a speech at the Democratic victory party at Sehkraft Brewing in Clarendon. It’s important for all voices to be heard in a democracy, Garvey said.
Tannia Talento and Nancy Van Doren, who both ran unopposed, have won seats on the Arlington County School Board.
Arlingtonians have overwhelmingly voted in favor of all four bond referenda. Metro and transportation has 78 percent approval, parks and recreation has 75 percent, community infrastructure has 75 percent and the Arlington Public Schools bond has 80 percent.
Like Virginia voters statewide, Arlington County voters rejected a “right-to-work” state constitutional amendment while approving an amendment providing property tax relief to the spouses of fallen first responders.
Arlington County voters chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. In that race, Clinton has 76 percent, Trump has 17 percent, Gary Johnson has 3 percent, Jill Stein has 1 percent and Evan McMullin has 2 percent.
Clinton’s net 71,724 vote victory over Trump in Arlington contributed significantly to her 182,954 vote margin over Trump statewide.
An initially optimistic mood at the Democratic event at Sehkraft gave way to anxiety over the results of the presidential race. At 10:40 p.m., CNN called Virginia for Hillary Clinton, lightening the mood a bit. Early Wednesday morning, however, the race was called for Donald Trump, raising questions about how Arlington might fare under a Trump administration.
In the 8th congressional district race, Arlington County voters gave a large margin of victory to incumbent Democrat Rep. Don Beyer, with 71 percent of the vote over Republican opponent Charles Hernick with 25 percent. That margin, however, was narrower than Clinton’s 76-17 margin over Trump in Arlington.
Beyer won the district as a whole 68 percent to 27 percent for Hernick.
County election officials did not receive reports of any major local voting issues. They say there were no lines at any of the county polling places within the last half hour of voting, indicating most residents who intended to vote already had. There were long lines at many polling places this morning, but they largely died down after 9 a.m.
Before the evening rush, Arlington County Registrar Linda Lindberg had said most precincts reported about 50 percent voter turnout, while another 25 percent or so voted absentee.
Lindberg expects final numbers to be close to those from 2012, when Arlington experienced 83 percent voter turnout. About 118,000 ballots were cast at that time, which was a county record.
ARLnow conducted a live video broadcast tonight from Sehkraft from 7:30-9:30 p.m., in which editor Scott Brodbeck spoke with elected officials including County Board Chair Libby Garvey, County Board Vice Chair Jay Fisette and Virginia state senator Adam Ebbin. The video from the broadcast is available above.
As of 3:45 p.m., nearly 75 percent of active registered voters in Arlington have cast a ballot in today’s election, according to election officials.
Arlington County Registrar Linda Lindberg said most precincts are reporting about 50 percent turnout ahead of the evening rush, while another 25 percent or so voted absentee.
Few problems were reported at the polls, said Lindberg. The biggest issue, she said, was related to the pens used to fill out the paper ballots.
“Voters were walking off with our pens,” Lindberg said. “We’ve had to deliver more pens out to our polling places, that was our biggest problem this morning during the rush.”
Long lines were reported at many polling stations early this morning, though the lines gave way to a steady trickle of voters after 8-9 a.m., as most headed to work. The longest line reported to the county elections office was about one hour long — well below the two-hour-long lines reported during the 2012 presidential election.
That election saw 83 percent voter turnout and about 118,000 ballots cast, the latter of which was a record for Arlington County. Lindberg expects this year’s election to come close to both figures, perhaps exceeding the number of ballots cast since the county’s population has continued to grow.
“It’s hard to say,” Lindberg said. “We should at least come very close to that number if not exceed it.”
A shift to all paper ballots from the mix of paper ballots and voting machines in 2012 may have helped to keep lines down despite, potentially, more voters at the polls.
“I think it moved voters through faster because there were more polling stations,” said Lindberg.
Should there be a larger-than-expected rush of voters after work, roving election officials have more ballots on hand to deliver to polling stations and prevent them from running out.
Polls in Virginia close at 7 p.m., though anybody in line at that time will be allowed to vote. Early returns are expected to start posting around 7:30 tonight.
Photos by Samantha Moore
If early morning lines at polling stations are any indication, today’s voting turnout is looking as high as expected in Arlington.
In Fairlington this morning, about 30 voters were lined up a half hour before polls opened. By the time those voters cast their ballots, the line was a hundred-plus people long.
The same story played out elsewhere in the county, from north to south. The lines have since thinned out, but are expected to get longer again during the lunch and after-work rushes.
Here are some reports from the polls around Arlington this morning, via Twitter:
— Rachel Henderson (@HendersonR) November 8, 2016
— Clarendon Dad (@clarendondad) November 8, 2016
— Marc Sabbagh (@leaveamarc) November 8, 2016
— Arlington VA Patch (@ArlCoVAPatch) November 8, 2016
Along with voting, 16 people also got Library cards at Central Library this morning pic.twitter.com/RFZz0zdjSe
— Arlington VA Pub Lib (@ArlingtonVALib) November 8, 2016
Took 40 minutes to vote at my polling place in Arlington. Was told the line was much longer an hour before I got in line.
— Rachel Joy Larris (@RachelLarris) November 8, 2016
— Linda Voss (@Inklingstar) November 8, 2016
— WAKE Republicans (@WakeRepublicans) November 8, 2016
The weather's warming up and lines are dying down. Perfect formula for #ElectionDay Now if only voters would stop walking off with our pens.
— Arlington Elections (@ArlingtonVotes) November 8, 2016
It’s Election Day and, as of 6 a.m., the polls are open in Arlington and throughout Virginia.
Polling places will remain open through 7 p.m. tonight. There are 52 electoral precincts in Arlington County, including three that have changed voting locations since the last election:
- Crystal City (voting at Crystal Place, 1801 Crystal Drive)
- Wilson (voting at Art Atrium at Bennett Park, 1601 Clarendon Blvd)
- Abingdon (voting at Fairlington Villages Community Center, 3005 S. Abingdon Street)
Some voters may have received incorrect information about their voting location last month, before a correction was mailed out.
If you’re heading out to vote, remember that voters in Virginia must present photo ID in order to be eligible to cast a ballot. Those who forget to bring their IDs may cast a provisional ballot that will only be counted if you can provide a copy of your ID to elections officials before noon on Friday.
The following will be on the ballot in Arlington:
President and Vice President
- Democrats Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine
- Republicans Donald Trump and Michael Pence
- Libertarians Gary Johnson and Bill Weld
- Greens Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka
- Independents Evan McMullin and Nathan Johnson
House of Representatives for Virginia’s 8th District
- Democrat Don Beyer (essay, podcast)
- Republican Charles Hernick (essay, podcast)
- Independent Julio Gracia
Arlington County Board
Arlington School Board
High voter turnout is expected today, following a long, controversy-filled presidential election campaign. Arlington election officials say they’re prepared for the crowds.
ARLnow.com will have a mid-day update of voter turnout in Arlington, followed by live election results coverage later tonight.
W-L Defeats Yorktown, Heads to Playoffs — The Washington-Lee Generals defeated cross-county rival Yorktown Friday night to advance to the football playoffs. W-L was trailing when senior quarterback Ricardo Mestre passed for a touchdown with just seconds remaining to clinch the win. [Washington Post]
Board Advertises Ballston Historic District — The Arlington County Board voted unanimously Saturday to advertise hearings on designating a small family graveyard in Ballston a local historic district, ahead of a planned redevelopment by the Central United Methodist Church. “The Board on Saturday received assurances from the church that it will not seek to remove any remains from the graveyard before the County has an opportunity to consider its historic designation,” according to a press release. [Arlington County]
Students: Adults Should Tone Down Boundary Rhetoric — Some adults have taken their rhetoric over the current Arlington Public Schools high school boundary refinement process too far, according to a pair of high school students who spoke at Thursday’s School Board meeting. “We honestly consider some of the comments made thus far to be an embarrassment,” said a Yorktown student. [InsideNova, InsideNova]
Arlington Smartphone App Updated — Arlington County has made a number of new upgrades to its My Arlington App for smartphones. The changes include a new home screen design, transit alerts and, just in time for Election Day, polling locations and a map of voter precincts. [Arlington County]
Library Director: Vote on Nov. 8 — From Arlington Public Library Director Diane Kresh’s blog: “Every election is important and every vote counts. And it’s a privilege that for people in many parts of the world is not enjoyed. On Tuesday, vote as if your life depends on it; it does.” [Arlington Public Library]
Free Home Buying Seminar Tonight — Sponsored — The Orange Line Living Team is hosting a Free Home Buying Seminar with a local lender and all attendees will receive two guarantees just for attending: 1) Buyer satisfaction — if you don’t love your new home they will buy it back or sell it for free for 12 months, and 2) $1,500 home purchase credit. See website for details and conditions. The event is being at 1600 Wilson Blvd #101 in Arlington, from 6-8 p.m. tonight, Nov. 7. [Orange Line Living]
When Arlington residents head to the ballot box on Nov. 8, they won’t just choose candidates for office. They’ll also be able to vote on four local bond issues and two state constitutional amendments.
Taxpayers will be asked to approve nearly $315.8 million in general bond obligations. Additionally, they’ll be able to vote for or against adding “right-to-work” and property tax exemption amendments to the Virginia constitution.
Members of the voting public can only vote “yes” or “no” to each of the four bond questions on the ballot. Each question rolls multiple projects into larger categories.
In the $138,830,000 Arlington Public Schools bond:
- $26.03 million to build an addition at the Stratford building to add 339 middle school seats;
- $78.4 million for construction of the new facility for H-B Woodlawn at the Wilson site, adding an estimated 775 seats;
- $12 million to renovate the Career Center/Arlington Tech to add 300 seats;
- $10 million for planning and design to build an additional 1,300 secondary seats at to-be-determined locations;
- $12.4 million for HVAC, roofing, and other infrastructure improvement projects at existing APS buildings.
In the $98,850,000 Community Infrastructure bond:
- $46.46 million to replace the Lubber Run Community Center with a new building that would have underground parking, a new gym and ADA-compliant courts and playground areas;
- $12 million for a new parking deck at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School;
- $12 million for neighborhood conservation and street improvements, residential traffic management, park enhancement, street lighting, beautification and landscaping projects;
- $9.6 million for facilities maintenance on items like roofs, mechanical and electrical systems, and replacement and renewal of interior and exterior finishes. The money would also be used to keep those facilities up to code and within good working order;
- $6.25 million to invest in county-owned buildings at Courthouse Plaza and fund new security and accessibility standards in those buildings;
- $5.35 million for a new 31,000 square foot urban plaza in Nauck that would feature public art, the history of the neighborhood and other ornamental elements;
- $3.24 million to convert and expand the existing Barcroft gym into a gymnastics program to meet increased demand;
- $1.5 million for a new county childcare facility;
- $1.33 million to centralize monitoring and maintenance of building systems;
- $1.12 million for the design of the forthcoming Fire Station 8.
Who should you call should you suspect election fraud or voting rights abuse at the polls on Election Day next week?
The regional U.S. Attorney’s Office says to give them a call.
In a press release, prosecutors say that such complaints on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 8) will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney James P. Gillis, who can be reached at 703-299-3700.
For more mundane problems at the polls that don’t rise to the level of a federal offense, voters can notify one of the poll workers or call the Arlington County elections office at 703-228-3456. Officials say Arlington is well-prepared for the anticipated crush of voters during a particularly contentious presidential election year.
Our election officers and staff are well-trained and prepared for the big day! https://t.co/0BViHHEV6c
— Arlington Elections (@ArlingtonVotes) November 1, 2016
The full U.S. Attorney’s Office press release, after the jump.
Home Prices Declining? — For the past two months, the median home sale price in Arlington has declined year-over-year. For September the median sale price was $515,000, down 10 percent compared to one year earlier. [WTOP]
Record Absentee Voting Expected — The total number of absentee ballots cast in Arlington is expected to reach 43,000 this year, smashing the county’s previous record of 35,000 in 2008. Arlington’s elections office hired “considerable extra staff” this year to meet voter demand. [Arlington County]
Va. Voter Registration Extended — To make up for a system failure before the Virginia’s voter registration deadline, a federal judge has ordered registration be extended through midnight tonight. [Politico]
Budget Guidance Anticipates Gap — County officials are projecting a $5.4 million funding gap for Arlington’s FY 2018 budget. That assumes a 2 percent growth in revenue, a 2.9 percent growth in expenditures, service levels remaining unchanged and the tax rate remaining at $0.991 per $100, which the county notes is the lowest rate in Northern Virginia. [Arlington County]
Local Man Competing in Maccabiah Games — David Ostroff, an Arlington resident, has been chosen to represent the United States on the 35+ Masters basketball team in the 20th World Maccabiah Game in Israel next summer. Ostroff is currently raising money for his sponsorship. [Maccabi USA]
Note: Photo (above) does not imply sponsorship or endorsement.