If you were thinking of making a quick break for home or vacation on westbound I-66 today, think again. An accident on westbound I-66 before the Spout Run Parkway exit is backing up traffic leaving the District.
One lane is currently getting by past the accident scene.
Update at 5:45 p.m. — The accident has been cleared. Delays remain.
By this time, Arlington residents were supposed to have received about
95,000 115,000 vehicle decals and their accompanying 2011 personal property tax bills. But a problem with the printer has delayed the mailings until next week, throwing into limbo County Treasurer Frank O’Leary’s policy, per state law, of getting the bills to taxpayers 30 days before the October 5 payment deadline.
The printer problem wasn’t confined to Arlington. The same printing company is used by at least one other local jurisdiction, we’re told.
In Arlington, the decals must be displayed by November 15, which will give drivers plenty of time. But meeting the October 5 deadline for paying the tax may be more problematic.
“The county is trying to figure out a way to ensure that people have adequate time to pay their bills before any penalties are imposed,” a county source told ARLnow.com. One possibility is waiving the fees for late payments, up to a certain date. (Update: October 15. See below.)
If you don’t want to wait for the bill in the mail, you can pay your taxes online here.
Hat tip to J.A. for the heads up.
Update at 8:00 p.m. — The county has released a press release.
ARLINGTON, Va. – Defective forms have delayed the mailing of some 115,000 personal property tax bills, Arlington County Treasurer Frank O’Leary said today. The problem also affected the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church, all of whom use the same form supplier, Graphic Communications, for their tax bills.
Arlington mailed some 45,000 bills this week, and expects to mail the remaining 70,000 bills next week, O’Leary said. By state law, the bills are required to be mailed no later than 30 days before the deadline for paying them. The County, by ordinance, has established Oct. 5 as the payment deadline for personal property tax.
Due to the delay, the County will only begin to charge penalties on payments received or postmarked after Oct. 15, to ensure ample time for residents to pay their bills.
“It is unfortunate that the bills could not be mailed in a timely fashion this year,” O’Leary said. “We regret this inconvenience for residents and the concern that it has caused.”
O’Leary noted that any additional printing and mailing costs will be borne by the vendor.
“We are glad that a solution has been found that is fair to taxpayers and fair to the County,” said Board Chairman Jay Fisette.
We stopped by Ruffino’s Spaghetti House (4763 Lee Highway) today to check out a tip that it had closed down. Good news, pasta fans: a recorded message on the restaurant’s answering machine reveals that it’s only undergoing renovations and will reopen “in a few weeks.”
Not much else to say about it, so here’s an amusing review of Ruffino’s posted by Yelp user “Chelsea M.”
This place has had an aura about it for me since my beau and his dude crew instituted the manly tradition of monthly “mafia” dinners at Ruffino’s. For years, these guys have gushed about the food, the house chianti and the staff, who have let them come back to the kitchen to thank the chefs personally for their dinner and a Sopranos-esque evening.
After finally getting to experience Ruffino’s in the flesh, my fantasies were more than fulfilled. The butter-drenched garlic bread was a dream come true and like a stick of Doublemint, my chicken castenella ( basically chicken and eggplant parm combined if my memory is serving me correctly) doubled my pleasure as well as my fun. t also arrived with a heaping side of spaghetti, which saved me from having to politely request some pasta from my date. Our waiter could not have been sweeter and more attentive and the atmosphere is perfectly cozy and cute.
This place ain’t Milano, but it’s not trying to be. Quality, generous portions, kindness and endless carbs are all delivered at this adorable spot. As a gal who’s been around the Little Italy block in NYC, I’m happy to endorse Ruffino’s as a perfect destination for a date night or any impending man meal.
The Bear Rock Cafe at Lee Highway and Westmoreland Street is closed indefinitely while the store undergoes a change of ownership, we’re told.
A sign on the door said the cafe is “closed for the day,” but a woman who came to the door to accept a delivery said she did not know when it would reopen. The store has been closed for at least two days.
Reviews on Yelp have been sharply critical of the previous owner. It’s not clear who the new owner is.
McGinty’s (3650 South Glebe Road) owes the county $25,226.64 in unpaid meals taxes, according to the latest list from the County Treasurer’s office, published on August 31. The owner of the Potomac Yard bar opened the massive P. Brennan’s pub on Columbia Pike earlier this year. As recently as July, McGinty’s was not on the delinquent list
Tortoise & Hare (567 South 23rd Street) was also not on the July list, but now owes the county $19,508.46. The Crystal City bar opened three years ago, and regularly hosts live music acts. It is also a popular football destination on Saturdays and Sundays.
Bob & Edith’s Diner (2310 Columbia Pike) is a bit of a surprise, considering that it seems to attract a crowd at all hours of the day. A second B&E’s location further down Columbia Pike shut down a couple of years ago, and the shell company for “Bob & Edith’s Diner II” has been listed on the delinquency list ever since. But the granddaddy Bob & Edith’s is now listed as owing $12,841.15 (B&E’s II owes $36,370.58).
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief
Construction crews seem to be making fast progress at the Clarendon Center properties. What were just hollow stacks of floors earlier this year now have bricks, windows and architectural accents.
The two structures — the regal-looking south building and the art deco-y north building — are expected to take on retail tenants as soon as December, and that seems very much possible given the pace of construction.
The concave ground floor space with the large windows and the high-ceilings in the south building (left) will be the new home of Circa, which now has a dedicated web site for the Clarendon location.
The ground floor space in the center of the photo of the north building (right) will be the home of Pete’s New Haven Apizza, which will have a considerable amount frontage on Clarendon Boulevard. Tangy Sweet and Red Velvet Cupcakery will be in the corner space on the far left side of the photo.
Still no word on what may be coming to the big 10,000+ square foot space on the other side of the south building (not pictured). The current wishful thinking is that it may one day house a grocery store.
Around 5:30 last night, a cyclist was apparently struck by a vehicle on Clarendon Boulevard in Courthouse, near the new Fire Works Pizza. Bystanders described the accident as minor, but seeing the man loaded into an ambulance was yet another reminder of the dangers bicyclists and pedestrians face on local roads.
In Virginia, 84 people died and more than 2,000 people were injured while walking or biking on roadways last year.
To help reduce risky driver and bicyclist behavior, the state is holding its second annual Bicyclist and Pedestrian Awareness Week, starting on Sunday.
“Lack of knowledge and risky behaviors often leads to crashes between roadway users,” the Arlington Police Department said in a statement announcing its participation in the week-long safety campaign. “Taking time to learn the laws and safety tips can save a life, especially with area schools starting back up and many students walking, cycling and driving on the roadways.”
Drive Smart Virginia has more information on traffic safety laws.
Brooks Visits Pacers — Shoemaker Brooks visited the Pacers Running Store in Clarendon yesterday. The company brought along prizes and a double-decker bus.
Arlington PD Officially Announces Project Lifesaver Program — As we first reported in June, Arlington will be joining the Project Lifesaver program, which provides electronic tracking devices to help locate individuals who tend to wander due to cognitive problems. The department made the official announcement in a press release last night. Families interested in enrolling their loved ones into the service should call 877-434-6384.
Arlington Tennis Phenom Advances in U.S. Open — Arlington’s own Denis Kudla, 18, is one of three U.S. boys to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S Open junior boys’ tournament in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. More from the Washington Post and the NY Times.
Update on Arlington Mill Community Center — Via DC Mud, we learn that the county is trying again to find a developer to build a mixed-income residential complex behind the planned Arlington Mill Community Center on Columbia Pike. The developer most recently chosen for the residential project backed out, leaving the county to fish for more proposals. The palatial recreation center could break ground early next year, and an existing building is set to be demolished next month, DC Mud reports.