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Crime Report: Racist Graffiti in Ballston

by ARLnow.com | August 20, 2014 at 3:30 pm | 1,636 views | No Comments

A homeless man was arrested last Friday after allegedly writing “racist” graffiti around Ballston, according to Arlington County Police.

From this week’s Arlington crime report:

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY (series), 140815014, 4200 block of N. Fairfax Drive. Between 4:30 and 6:55 am on August 15, an intoxicated subject wrote profane language with a green marker on buildings, vehicles, bus shelters and signs. Phillip Cannon, 55, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with five counts of destruction of property and drunk in public.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump.

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Shirlington’s Wags ‘n Whiskers Festival Returns Saturday

by Ethan Rothstein | August 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm | 704 views | No Comments

Wags and Whiskers 2011 (courtesy photo)The annual Shirlington pet festival, Wags ‘n Whiskers, returns for its seventh year this Saturday.

This year’s festival’s hours are extended: the fun begins at 10:00 a.m. and goes until 4:00 p.m. along Campbell Avenue. The festival’s organizer, the Federal Realty Investment Trust, said more than 60 pet-centric vendors have signed up to participate, making it the biggest Wags ‘n Whiskers festival to date.

In addition to the vendors selling treats, food, toys and other goods, there will also be on-site adoption booths, pet portraits for $5, demonstrations, face-painting and balloon art. A complete list of vendors is available on the festival’s website.

Live music will be going on throughout the festivities, starting with Dan Haas at 10:00 a.m., followed by the Taylor Carson Duo at noon and the Morrison Brothers Band at 2:00 p.m.

The Arlington County Police Department will be closing roads around Shirlington on Saturday for the event. Starting at 5:30 a.m., Campbell Avenue will be closed from S. Quincy Street to the parking garage entrance in front of the Harris Teeter (4250 Campbell Ave.). S. Randolph Street will also be closed from Arlington Mill Drive to the alley south of Campbell Avenue. Street parking in the area will be restricted. The roads are expected to re-open by 7:00 p.m.

File photo

UPDATED: Supreme Court Puts Va. Same Sex Marriage on Hold

by Ethan Rothstein | August 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm | 1,746 views | No Comments

Arlington County's courthouse and police headquarters

Update at 3:20 p.m. – The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a stay in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling striking down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. Arlington will not be able to grant marriage licenses unless the Supreme Court either declines to take further action or considers and then upholds the ruling.

Update at 4:40 p.m. — Paul Ferguson has issued a statement: “I am disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision but remain hopeful that the Fourth Circuit’s ruling will ultimately be upheld. Our office will be prepared to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples whenever that time comes.”

Earlier: Arlington officials are preparing to issue what could be the state’s first same sex marriage licenses tomorrow (Thursday).

Unless a stay is issued by the U.S. Supreme Court, Arlington Clerk of the Circuit Court Paul Ferguson says he will start taking applications and issuing licenses to same sex couples at 8:00 a.m.

The applications will be taken on the 6th floor of the Arlington County Courthouse (1425 N. Courthouse Road), but in light of the fact that cameras are not allowed inside the courthouse, Ferguson will also administer oaths outside.

“Since cameras are not allowed, I will administer oaths to those couples who want to be filmed/interviewed outside of the courthouse,” Ferguson told ARLnow.com today. “Also, there will be ministers and civil celebrants outside the courthouse ready to perform marriages for those who would like to get married immediately after receiving the license.”

Arlington County is expecting a large media presence for the event. From 7:30 to 9:00 a.m., the police department is planning to shut down N. Courthouse Road between 14th and 15th Streets to allow for television truck parking.

Arlington will not be joined tomorrow by Arlington’s neighbor Fairfax County, whose clerk, John T. Frey, told RestonNow.com that he would not issue same sex marriage licenses until the court case was “a done deal.” If no stay is ordered, Ferguson said he’s not sure how big of a crowd to expect in his office tomorrow.

“We have redeployed staff from other sections of the office and will do our best to serve people as promptly as possible,” he said. “It is hard to estimate how many couples might request licenses. We have an overflow room for people to wait that is comfortable. I am guessing it will be a festive atmosphere with couples visiting with other couples who are waiting.”

Despite the planning, there’s a chance it could all be for naught, at least for a while.

Following the ruling of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals last week that same sex marriages could begin first thing Thursday morning, state Attorney General Mark Herring requested a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court until it rules fully on the case to strike down the state’s constitutional amendment ban on same sex marriage.

“A stay is warranted,” Herring said in a press release, “in light of the negative impact on Virginia children, families, and businesses if the Supreme Court eventually rules against marriage equality and forces an unwinding of Virginians’ marriages, adoptions, inheritances, or workplace benefits.”

Chief Justice John Roberts has yet to issue a decision.

Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette married his longtime partner, Bob Rosen, last fall, and told ARLnow.com from his office last week that even he was stunned with how quickly the momentum toward legal same sex marriages has grown.

“The pace of this evolution has been remarkable and rewarding,” Fisette said. “In my view, it’s just a matter of time. There’s now an inevitability around marriage equality, as there should be.”

Westover Italian Store Expects to Open By End of Year

by Ethan Rothstein | August 20, 2014 at 10:30 am | 2,564 views | No Comments

The Italian Store that is coming to Westover is now under construction, and the owner hopes to be open in time for the holidays, before the end of 2014.

Construction was delayed for several months due to permitting issues, owner Robert Tramonte told ARLnow.com, but has been underway for three weeks. Tramonte announced last December that he was planning on opening a second location of his popular Lyon Village shop in the former 7-Eleven space at 5839 Washington Blvd.

The store will be 6,000 square feet, not including an outdoor café, Tramonte said. As opposed to the current Italian Store, at 3123 Lee Highway, the new location will have an on-site liquor license, so customers can drink the beer and wine sold on the premises.

“There are a lot of breweries coming up in Italy,” Tramonte said. “It will be a very eclectic beer list. Wine is kind of my specialty, and we’re going to have about three times as much space for wine as we do now. It’s the Italian Store on steroids, basically.”

The Westover location will have another feature the original does not: an Illy espresso bar, which will also serve gelato, and fresh-baked Italian pastries like cannoli and cornetti.

“I’ve always felt like even in my own store, if somebody asked me where can I get a good Italian pastry, and there’s no real answer to that in this area,” he said. “We have a lot of good sources right now and some that we cook ourselves, but I’ve never marketed them well in a display case. Over in the other store at Westover, we’re going to have the space to merchandise really well and people would see them fresh out of the oven.”

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | August 20, 2014 at 9:30 am | 1,080 views | No Comments

The aftermath of an accident in Rosslyn

FBI Looking for Serial Bank Robber — The FBI is seeking information on a serial bank robber who hit a Capital One Bank in District Heights, Md. in May and the Wells Fargo in Courthouse last September. “In both robberies, the unidentified man displayed a note to tellers demanding money and threatening a violent attack against everyone in the bank,” according to the FBI. [Federal Bureau of Investigation]

Tag Readers Brought Arlington $744,000 — The Arlington County Treasurer’s Office was able to bring in $744,000 in unpaid taxes thanks to use of automatic license plate readers. That’s up 54 percent from last year. [InsideNova]

Rape Prevention Certification for Jail — The Arlington County Detention Facility has been recognized as meeting new federal Prison Rape Elimination Act standards. The jail is the first in the D.C. area to receive the certification. “This certification is a significant recognition of what we focus on every day — operating a safe and secure jail for our inmates and staff,” Arlington County Sheriff Beth Arthur said, in a statement. [Arlington County]

Sullivan Wins 48th District Special Election

by Ethan Rothstein | August 19, 2014 at 10:00 pm | 1,427 views | No Comments

Richard “Rip” Sullivan (D) is the newest member of the state General Assembly after soundly defeating Republican Dave Foster in tonight’s special election.

Sullivan won 62.21 percent of the vote, not counting provisional ballots, and captured 3,934 of 6,277 votes cast in Arlington. Sullivan will replace Del. Bob Brink, who resigned in June, representing the easternmost parts of Arlington and the McLean area of Fairfax County.

The election was scheduled for tonight by House of Delegates Speaker William Howell, a move Sullivan panned during his campaign — and did again in his victory speech at O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub in Clarendon — as an attempt to get low voter turnout in the Democratic-leaning district. Brink, who was there to congratulate Sullivan, said he was “surprised” at Howell’s decision.

“Rip showed you can’t game the system,” Brink told ARLnow.com. “I think he’s going to do a tremendous job. He’s shown he is a thoughtful legislator who can get things done. I think he’s going to be great.”

Sullivan credited his team for leading a successful campaign — two campaigns within eight weeks, he pointed out, after winning the Democratic “firehouse” primary in early July — and the district’s voters for supporting him despite the unusual election timing. According to Arlington General Registrar Linda Lindberg, it’s the first general election Arlington has had in August in at least 20 years, and she said she couldn’t find record of any August election before that.

During the campaigns, Sullivan focused primarily on social issues, such as women’s reproductive rights, and on expanding Medicaid. Foster’s campaign hinged largely on his opposition to the streetcar, while hoping his education experience — he was a two-time chair of the Arlington School Board and the head of the Virginia Board of Education under former Gov. Bob McDonnell — would garner some swing votes.

“I had great faith and confidence in the voters of the 48th District,” Sullivan said. “I knew they would care about more than one issue. I wanted to talk about all of the issues and I think that resonated with voters. They knew what they were getting with me.”

Brink retired after being appointed Deputy Commissioner for Aging Services for Virginia. Sullivan said Brink, known in Richmond as a dealmaker, has offered guidance.

“Bob was highly regarded for his intellect and demeanor,” Sullivan said. “I expect to rely on him and consult him regularly. I hope to follow in his footsteps as someone people can trust and work with.”

Sullivan is an attorney and a partner at Reed Smith in Washington, D.C., and serves as an adjunct professor at the George Mason University law school. He lives in McLean with his wife, Beth, and the two have four children.

Sept. 11 Memorial 5Ks in Arlington Next Month

by Ethan Rothstein | August 19, 2014 at 4:30 pm | No Comments

Medal from the Arlington 9-11 Memorial 5K raceThe 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks will again be marked in Arlington by, among other events, two 5K races raising money for charities.

First, on Saturday, Sept. 6, will be the Arlington Police, Fire and Sheriff Memorial 9/11 5K. The race will begin at 6:00 p.m. and start and end at the Double Tree hotel in Crystal City at 300 Army Navy Drive.

The race is $40 to register and participate, with the proceeds going to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Segs4Vets, Team Rubicon and T.A.P.S (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). The race is limited to the first 4,500 registrants.

The course will take runners from the Double Tree up S. Joyce Street, by the Air Force Memorial and Pentagon 9/11 Memorial, around the Pentagon before returning back to the Double Tree.

A week later, the 9/11 Heroes Run with kick off just a few blocks away. Starting at 8:30 a.m. on 23rd Street S., between Fern and Eads Streets, the run raises money for the Travis Manion Foundation, a charity that supports “veterans, their families, and families of fallen service members.”

Registration for the Heroes Run is $35, plus a $2.74 service fee. The Arlington race is one of 47 nationwide that will be run this year, including events in New York City, Philadelphia and Richmond. Only those who register before Sept. 1 are guaranteed a race shirt and memorabilia.

Ask Adam: Mobile Real Estate Apps

by ARLnow.com Sponsor | August 19, 2014 at 3:30 pm | 476 views | No Comments

Ask Adam header

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013 & 2014. Please submit your questions via email.

Q. I started looking for a good iPhone app to use during my home search and was a little overwhelmed. Do you have one that you recommend?

A. I have tried a bunch of different real estate apps and have narrowed them down to my top three favorites.

Mobile real estate app1) Homesnap is the one I use most often. If I want to learn about a home and whether it is for sale, I open Homesnap and press a button on the screen like I’m taking a photo of it. It pulls up a map and asks me to confirm the home I am interested in. I am then provided with details such as the following:

  • Estimated value
  • Sales price and listing data, if it is for sale
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Lot size
  • Square footage
  • Year built
  • Parking
  • Historical sales data
  • Comparable listings
  • SmartZip HomeScore and InvestorScore

I can sign up for notifications when the price changes. I can even request that a competitive market analysis (CMA) be delivered to me.

In short, it’s the perfect nosey neighbor tool!

2) Maybe I’m a little biased, but I like using ArbourMobile.com when I’m searching for a specific address, city or zip code. It’s quick, accurate and has up-to-date information provided by the local multiple listing service (MLS). It allows me to display results in a list or on a map.  It provides all the listing detail including Walk Score. If I were in the market for a home, I would be inclined to use the favorites, notes and share functionality as well.

3) I like to use Zillow when I want information about real estate outside the DC area. Like if I’m on vacation dreaming about owning a beach house and wondering what the Zestimate is for the house next door. I would prefer to use Homesnap in these situations, but they currently have a limited service area.

In a previous article, I have listed some additional apps that may come in handy during the home buying process.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

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