Firefighters are on the scene of an electrical fire at an apartment building on Columbia Pike.
The fire was reported around 9:45 a.m., at the Dorchester Apartments on the 1900 block of Columbia Pike. The fire is said to be under control.
Dominion crews and a building inspector are en route to the scene.
The following letter to the editor was submitted by Mary McCutcheon, a North Highlands resident.
What is a “weed?” I posed this question to two of the inspectors in Arlington’s Code Enforcement office and was told by both that their definition comes from Webster’s dictionary. Before you continue reading, you should look it up and see for yourself if this venerable old lexicon provides any clear standard. O.K. Are you finished? So now that we know what we’re up against, I want to say that this vague and subjective definition is the basis for Arlington’s property maintenance code and people are getting citations that can incur very material and costly, not to mention invasive, penalties for those who are defiant.
I have a vacant piece of land where I am about to build a new house. Over the summer it became covered with multiple species dominated by Conyza canadensis and bristlegrass, both native meadow species, as well as Tradescantia virginiana, perennial lilies, and Monarda which had all begun to look droopy as their flowering season came to an end. Until construction begins, I thought the land was better off with a cover of vegetation, especially these species which attract birds and pollinators. When I got a notice that I had violated the weed ordinance, I was hurt and ashamed and a little indignant all at once.
I phoned the inspector who had issued me the citation and asked what a weed was. That is when I learned that Webster’s dictionary is the botanical reference book that Arlington County uses (per directions of one of Arlington’s attorneys, I learned). I then asked this inspector if Joe Pye weed, Butterfly weed, and Milkweed were “weeds” and, after a painful pause, he blurted “Ma’am, I’m not an arborist.”
In the meantime, the people promoting native plants and rain gardens are explicitly encouraging Arlington citizens to plant more and more of these “weeds.” Let’s make sure the code is consistent with the policy and protect the residents, as well as the flustered inspectors, from confusion.
Responding to my objection that code enforcement is mostly complaint-driven, the inspector replied that citations mainly result from routine drive-by surveys. When I pointed out that a property only a block away from my property had poison ivy tumbling into the road and porcelain berry and other invasive vines growing all over the chainlink fence and it’s barbed wire top, the inspector replied: “Well, if you want something done about it, you should file a complaint.”
Why do we have such codes in the first place? It is not to keep up an aesthetic standard in neighborhoods, as you might have thought; it is, according to the code itself, only to address health and public safety threats. And, according to the inspectors, “weeds” are more often associated with insects, rats and snakes than non-weeds. The truth is that scorched earth clearing and exposed pools of standing water are most often associated with mosquito larvae; vegetable gardens, bird feeders and exposed food waste are most often associated with rats; and the rocky edges of streams such as Four Mile Run are havens for copperhead snakes.
Home owners should not be denied their property rights without compelling public interest. The remote suspicion that one might possibly imagine that there may conceivably be a non-zero probability that a mosquito, a rat, or a snake lives on someone’s land doesn’t cut it.
Photo by Mary McCutcheon
A robbery suspect is facing a host of new charges after police say he tried to pass himself off as his brother following his arrest.
Police say Mora Long, a 26-year-old Sterling resident, was the man captured by Arlington County’s SWAT team early Wednesday morning on Four Mile Run Drive. Police and news outlets initially reported that 29-year-old Rattana Long was arrested, but police now say that Mora was pretending to be his brother in order to have an alibi for the robbery.
The robbery took place Friday afternoon on the 5000 block of Columbia Pike, when a man matching Long’s description robbed a store at knifepoint.
In addition to a charge of assaulting a police officer while allegedly trying to evade arrest, Moran Long is now facing charges of “providing false identity to law enforcement, four counts of forging a public document and identity theft.”
From an ACPD press release:
The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit has charged a suspect after he provided a false identity following a seven hour barricade situation that ended in the early morning hours of September 10, 2014. Mora Long, 26, of Sterling, VA has been charged with assault on a police officer, providing false identity to law enforcement, four counts of forging a public document and identity theft. At the time of his arrest, he was wanted out of Prince William and Fairfax Counties for additional crimes. He is currently being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility without bond.
Following an armed robbery of a retail store in the 5000 block of Columbia Pike on September 5, 2014, officers conducted extra patrols of the surrounding area. An individual matching the robbery suspect description was spotted by officers in the afternoon hours of September 9, 2014 in the Columbia Pike Plaza Shopping Center. That individual, Mora Long, was immediately approached and interviewed by officers. During the interview, Long assaulted an officer and then fled on foot to his girlfriend’s apartment in the 4500 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. Long barricaded himself in the apartment until Arlington County Police SWAT entered the residence at approximately 2:00 am and found the suspect in a bedroom closet.
Long initially provided officers with his brother’s identification as it would provide him with an alibi in connection to the September 5th armed robbery and because he knew he was wanted on multiple charges out of other jurisdictions.
Long has not been charged with the armed robbery as that incident remains under investigation by the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit. If anyone has information in regards to the September 5, 2014 robbery of the MetroPCS store in Columbia Pike Plaza, please contact Detective Everest at 703.228.4180 or email@example.com. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).
Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway).
Over the past two weeks, I’ve recapped my visits to two Southern California breweries — Stone and The Bruery — that I went on during my recent vacation. Today we’re wrapping everything up with a list of some of the things I noticed during my too-brief stay out West:
Good: Los Angeles’ local beer scene: I expected to find all kinds of good beer in San Diego and was not disappointed, but what surprised me was how many breweries are up and running in L.A. itself. During an afternoon trip to the beach at Santa Monica, my wife and I ducked into The Commons Ale House, a small beer bar just off the beach focusing on craft beer with some great local options on tap. Over games of Connect Four, we got to try Angel City‘s Eureaka! Wit (4.9 percent and made with Nelson Sauvin? Yes, please!), and El Segundo Brewery‘s Blue House Mosaic Pale Ale. El Segundo makes a handful of Blue House Pales featuring different hops. I noticed some Blue House Citra at a Whole Foods near my friend’s house later on in the week, along with a number of other L.A.-based brewery selections. Reading a Brewing News-style periodical about the L.A. beer scene, it appears that there are more breweries coming online, which is always a good sign.
Bad: Hop-centric, sometimes to a fault: What I found in SoCal was a dearth of the Lagers, non-hoppy Ales (Kolsch-style, Golden Ales, etc.), wheat beers, and mild Belgian styles that are more readily found here on the East Coast. For the most part, I was fine with this — I got into beer as a hophead, and I’m always going to be one. For people like my wife, the emphasis on big hops in nearly everything being put out by craft brewers can be tough to deal with.
My wife, you see, is not a fan of particularly bitter hoppy beers. Over the 10 years we’ve been together, she’s tried more beers than most people in the industry, and she has a great palate — she knows what she likes, and knows what she doesn’t. Too often in California we’d look through a menu at beer lists and there just wouldn’t be much of anything that she could get into.
Good: That may be changing? All that said, I did see some signs that things might be shifting a bit on the West Coast. The aforementioned Angel City Brewery offers their Wit year-round, along with a year-round Pilsner, and seasonals like a Wheat Ale and Oktoberfest. Modern Times offers a Saison and Coffee Stout that, while relatively hoppy for their styles by the numbers (30 and 40 IBU, respectively), aren’t overly aggressive. AleSmith‘s Anvil ESB was a beer we both loved. Even during our Stone visit, my wife found herself enjoying Go-To IPA (no bittering hops, remember?) and loved the limited-release Sprocketbier from earlier this year. I got to snag a sixer of Firestone Oaktoberfest and was impressed; hopefully production is boosted enough for next year that we see a little on the East Coast.
Good: If you do like hops, though… Oh man, is it fun being a hophead in California. The night we landed, my friend and I went on a BevMo run to stock up his fridge a bit. I decided to buy some ChronicAle from Port Brewing. I’m a fan of Port and hadn’t tried this one before. ChronicAle is a hoppy Session Amber Ale, clocking in at 4.9 percent, and comes in six-packs of tallboy cans. How cool is that? Also, those sixers of tallboys cost $9.99 at BevMo — this was the first of many moments where I contemplated staying in L.A., and never coming back. Also found and enjoyed while in California: Firestone 805 (in six-pack bottles and 12-pack cans), AleSmith IPA and Pale Ale 394, Stone Bastard In The Rye, Beechwood Alpha Master, Ritual Single Rye IPA… there’s a lot of great beer in SoCal, y’all.
(Updated at 1:45 p.m.) Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) says he “had to stand up for Arlington” this morning in his office with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) who rankled folks in Arlington over the line in her book calling the county a “soulless suburb.”
Warner wrote in a tweet “All is forgiven” and thanked Gillibrand for “being a class act.” He posted three photos, including one of him and Gillibrand holding an “Arlington, We Got Soul” T-shirt.
“Senator Gillibrand says she meant no offense,” Warner told ARLnow.com in an email, “and she certainly was a good sport about the whole thing.”
Warner Press Secretary Beth Wanamaker said Gillibrand came into their office “and was immediately apologetic to all of us. She said she had no idea that she would cause such a kerfuffle.”
The shirt is produced by Fairfax-based CustomInk, and it can be bought online here for $20 each. All of the funds from T-shirt purchases will go directly to the Arlington Food Assistance Center, per the T-shirt seller’s website.
Photos courtesy Sen. Mark Warner’s office
As our Just Listed columnist wrote, “helloooo inventory.” There is plenty of variety among the real estate listings this week, including a two-bedroom condo right off Lee Highway and a $2.2 million house in Woodmont.
2030 N. Woodrow Street
2 BD / 1 BA condominium
Agent: Eric Hernandez, Keller Williams Realty
Open: Sunday, Sept. 14, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
4638 31st Road S.
1 BD / 2 BA condominium
Agent: Margaret Baldwin, Long & Foster Real Estate
Open: Sunday, Sept. 14, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
1732 S. Fillmore Street
4 BD / 3 BA single family detached
Agent: Joyce Becker, Weichert, Realtors
Open: Sunday, Sept. 14, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
1713 N. Edison Street
5 BD / 3 BA single family detached
Agent: Keri Shull, Keller Williams Realty
Open: Sunday, Sept. 14, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
2422 13th Court N.
3 BD / 3 1/2 BA townhouse
Agent: Ruth Boyer, American Realty Group
Open: Saturday, Sept. 13, 1:00-4:00 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 14, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
2608 24th Street N.
5 BD / 5 1/2 BA single family detached
Agent: Kevin Love, Re/Max Allegiance
Open: Sunday, Sept. 14, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Van Doren replaces Noah Simon on the Board and will serve her interim turn until the Nov. 4 general election. Van Doren is running unopposed for the seat in the election, and she will be sworn in for her full, four-year term after she wins. Simon resigned this summer to take care of his children after his wife died on Dec. 30, 2013.
Van Doren will fill one of two open seats on the Board. Former Board member Sally Baird also resigned this summer; Barbara Kanninen and Audrey Clement are running to replace her in the Nov. 4 election. Baird originally had announced she wouldn’t seek re-election but would serve out her current term, but changed course and resigned on Aug. 22.
“Nancy is a well-regarded civic leader who has supported the Arlington Public Schools for a decade,” School Board Chair James Lander said in a press release. “Nancy has been highly engaged and is well-informed about the many complexities associated with Arlington’s needs. She will make a tremendous addition to this Board.”
After the jump, the full release from Arlington Public Schools on Van Doren’s appointment: (more…)
Getting a hair cut or your nails done in one of the most expensive areas in the country doesn’t have to cost a fortune — Arlington cosmetology schools offer low-cost services under professional supervision.
High school students at Arlington Career Center provide spa services as they prepare to pass the state exam to become licensed beauticians.
“The students do the work and it’s overseen by two cosmetology teachers,” instructor Rosenia Peake said.
A blowout costs $15, a haircut costs $10 and senior citizens get a 10 percent discount. Appointments at 816 S. Walter Reed Dr. are scheduled for 8 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. and can be made by calling (703) 228-5799.
Students aren’t giving manicures now but will be later this year, said Peake, who noted the Arlington Public Schools-run program gets teenagers job-ready.
“You’re a professional in the 11th grade, and you haven’t even graduated from high school,” she said. “This is a stepping stone to another life.”
ACC principal Margaret Chung said the program serves both locals and students.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for our students to be able to give back to the community,” she said. “Students get hands-on experience and learn to interact in a professional way.”
For a little more money, Graham Webb Academy offers more extensive salon services in Rosslyn. At 1621 N. Kent St., student stylists give haircuts ($19), blowouts ($14), full highlights ($57) and more, according to their website. A manicure there costs $12, and a Brazilian Blowout runs $175.
Appointments can be made by calling (703) 243-9322 and walk-ins are available.
In Virginia Square, Kenny’s Beauty Academy advertises women’s haircuts for $15, men’s haircuts for $10 and manicures for $10. A Brazilian keratin treatment there costs $100, the school’s website says. The 3461 Washington Blvd. school can be reached at (571) 522-4566.
Photo via Arlington Career Center
USS Arlington Remembers 9/11 — The crew of the USS Arlington marked the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks while at sea in the Atlantic Ocean yesterday. The sailors and Marines aboard the ship, named in remembrance of the attack on the Pentagon, participated in a solemn ceremony to honor the 184 people who died in that attack. [DVIDS]
Travel Tips for Crystal City Wine Fest — Arlington County has car-free travel tips for those who will be attending Sunday’s Vintage Crystal Sip and Salsa festival in Crystal City. There are numerous rail lines, bus stops and Capital Bikeshare stations near the food and wine tasting event, which is taking place from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the parking lot behind 220 20th Street S. [Car-Free Diet]
Renovated Sheraton Now a Westin — The former Sheraton hotel at 1800 Jefferson Davis Highway in Crystal City has undergone a $20 million renovation and has now reopened as the Westin Crystal City. The hotel has “220 luxurious guest rooms and extensive meeting facilities.” [eTurbo News]
Arlington Taking Neighborhood College Apps — Arlington County is accepting applications for its Neighborhood College program through Sept. 29. The eight-week “civic engagement and leadership development program” teaches students “how to advocate for your neighborhood and effect change.” [Arlington County]
Photo courtesy Peter Roof / Alt Gobo MediaWorks LLC
Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.” Hellooooo inventory! This…
A woman was attacked by two men near Columbia Pike Monday night. The incident, described by police as an “attempted abduction,” took place at 10:35 p.m. on the 3800 block…
The Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com….
Progressive Voice is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com….
Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com. Last…
(Updated at 2:05 p.m.) A Ballston hot yoga studio sparked outrage Thursday by promoting a Sept. 11-themed sale and referencing conspiracy theories. “9+11 = 20% OFF! PATRIOT DAY SALE on Bikram Yoga,”…