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On the Campaign Trail

Opposite Sides

A river runs through the candidate for mayor. On one side is incumbent Democratic Mayor Bill Euille, who supports a plan that would more than double the density of three sites slated for redevelopment along the waterfront compared to what’s there now. On the other side is former Vice Mayor Andrew Macdonald, who blasts the proposal as a threat to the health of the Potomac River.

“You can’t undo the damage of adding new impervious surfaces to the shoreline,” said Macdonald, an independent candidate for mayor who led opposition to the waterfront small-area plan. “You are better off creating more green space that can flood and has more natural qualities.”

The mayor disagrees. He says the city’s consultants and staff have thoroughly investigated the dynamics of increasing from the current level of 300,000 square feet to a proposed 800,000 square feet. The zoning change is still in limbo pending the result of an appeal filed by adjacent property owners in Old Town. Ultimately, Euille says, the waterfront plan will greatly advance environmental sustainability by creating an elevated walkway to mitigate flood damage.

“This plan is a huge step forward in terms of correcting and eliminating danger,” said Euille. “Staff and consultants studied this and concluded that imperious surface was the way to go.”

Campaigning on the Edge

Candidates love to be photographed on location. From standing before the George Washington Masonic Temple to posing in Market Square, setting the right scene is an important element to any campaign materials. Former Councilman Tim Lovain famously used the red railcar at the Mount Vernon Community Center as a nod to his love of streetcars that also tugs at the heart of the Del Ray crowd. Former Councilman Justin Wilson had a similar idea, promoting his work on the city’s public transportation system by positioning himself in front of a DASH bus.

Wilson chose the King Street Metro station during a busy afternoon. The wail of Metro trains could be heard in the distance as new hybrid DASH buses arrived and departed. The candidate tried posing in front of one, but it sped away too soon. So he waited for the next to arrive. When it came to a stop, Wilson and his photographer positioned themselves accordingly and snapped a handful of frames. The pair finished just in time to avoid being — literally — thrown under the bus by their own photo shoot.

“I managed not to get run over,” said Wilson. “And we got the shot.”

The Next Election

Even as Democratic primary for City Council reaches its peak, Democrats are already talking about the seat that will be opened by the announcement that Del. David Englin (D-45) won’t seek reelection in 2013. Already, Councilman Rob Krupicka has announced that he intends to run in the primary. And Arlington School Board member James Lander has also thrown his hat into the ring. This week, former Alexandria School Board member Eileen Cassisy Rivera acknowledged that she’s also considering the race.

“Yes,” she said after a recent City Council candidates forum. “I’m considering it.”

Of Candidates and Authors

Democrat Allison Silberberg is not shy about plugging her book, “Visionaries in Our Midst,” published by University Press of America in 2009. On the campaign trail, she frequently mentions the book and its Amazon ranking. But she’s willing to spread the wealth. When asked about the Del Ray trolley, Silberberg dropped the name of another author.

“The fact that we have to fight for the Del Ray trolley to come into the heart of Arlandria is straight out of Steinbeck.”