News Briefs: June 13 – 19

Arlington Court Postpones Residential Re-Zoning Challenge

Arlington Circuit Court’s schedule to hear arguments in the lawsuit by 10 Arlington homeowners challenging the residential rezoning that took effect July 1 was postponed, from a planned July 11 date to September 19. The reason? A delay by the Virginia Supreme Court in appointing a substitute judge after all four Arlington judges on May 25 asked to be disqualified because they are “situated” in Arlington.

The County Clerk on July 10 told the News-Press that a state judge had named retired Judge David Schell, of the 19th Judicial Circuit in Fairfax, to take on the controversial case after Labor Day.

The plaintiffs in Marcia Nordgren et al v. Arlington County Board named the county board, county attorney and Planning Commission as defendants in their suit aimed at derailing the new zoning ordinance that permits by-right construction of multi-family structures up to six units in areas of the county that for decades were restricted to single-family homes. They called the reform process an “arbitrary and capricious” violation of state and local law that was enacted without sufficient studies, public notice or planning for impacts on the economy, tree canopy, traffic, schools, parking and storm drainage.

Arlington County attorney MinhChau N. Corr filed a rebuttal and request for dismissal. She submitted lengthy county planning documents and argued that the plaintiffs lack standing, that the matter is not yet ripe (since nothing has been built) and that “there is no legal requirement to conduct such studies or investigations for every legislative action taken by the board.” — Charlie Clark

Sen. Warner Assails China Hack of U.S. Email Accounts

Yesterday, Virginia U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement following reports of a breach of Microsoft email accounts at over two-dozen organizations, including government agencies, by China-based hackers:

“The Senate Intelligence Committee is closely monitoring what appears to be a significant cybersecurity breach by Chinese intelligence. It’s clear that the PRC is steadily improving its cyber collection capabilities directed against the U.S. and our allies. Close coordination between the U.S. government and the private sector will be critical to countering this threat.”

Fairfax County Urges Seniors to Apply for Housing

Falls Church and Fairfax County seniors ages 62 and up who qualify on a limited income basis have been notified by Fairfax County that they are eligible to sign up to be added to a waitlist for affordable housing at four county locations including the Chesterbrook Senior Residences in greater F.C.

Applications filed through  the county housing authority’s RentCafe website can be accepted through Sunday, July 16 at midnight. Help with submitting applications can be found by calling 703-246-5100.

Progress Treating Alzheimer’s Offers Test Opportunities 

Alzheimer’s disease  researchers increasingly believe that treating at the earliest possible stage may be key to help combating the disease. Ongoing studies are testing whether new FDA-approved therapies can effectively delay or prevent the symptoms of disease if started even before there is evidence of cognitive impairment.

A National Institutes of Health study called AHEAD is testing the effect of the therapy, “Lecanemab,” in people who have no cognitive symptoms of AD, but in whom biomarker tests indicate amyloid is present in the brain, known as the “preclinical” stage of Alzheimer’s. The AHEAD Study is the first Alzheimer’s trial to recruit people as young as 55 years old who are at risk of developing symptoms as they get older.

Since July 6, when the FDA granted full approval to Lecanemab, it has been reported that treatment with Lecanemab should be initiated in patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia stage of disease, the population in which treatment was initiated in clinical trials. Lecanemab is the first approved treatment shown to reduce the rate of disease progression and to slow cognitive and functional decline in adults with Alzheimer’s

Lecanemab is now fully approved to treat people who already have cognitive impairment and mild dementia (substantial memory and other thinking problems that affect daily function). Lecanemab had previously been granted accelerated approval for demonstrating that the treatment reduced the accumulation of brain amyloid plaque (a hallmark change in the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s).

A new NIH study builds on the positive results that Lecanemab showed in people with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia.