Now that New Year’s Eve is upon us, it’s time to whip out a 2010 retrospective.
Of course, this site didn’t even exist on Jan. 1, 2010 (we launched on Jan. 29) so the following list is going to be skewed toward the latter half of the year. But, without further ado, here are the top 10 most-viewed stories of 2010.
1. Man Arrested in Arlington Was Former Top Army Soldier — 67,195 pageviews
This story, which came to us via an anonymous tip regarding a crime report item, attracted national attention. It was linked to by the ever-popular Drudge Report on election day, bringing our server down for at least three hours. When we finally threw enough money at our hosting company to get it back up, we were deluged with colorful comments.
2. In a Moment, A Life Taken and Many More Shaken — 30,253 pageviews
A man’s tragic decision to end his life in a very public way attracted considerable local attention. Many Rosslynites wondered about the commotion outside the office building at 17th and North Nash Streets. Others who knew what happened were searching for an answer to a very human question: “why?”
3. NSF Building Evacuated After Apparent Lightning Strike — 8,892 pageviews
There’s some question about whether it was actually caused by a bolt of lightning, but a fire in the parking garage of the National Science Foundation building, following a strong fall storm, caused hundreds of people to evacuate and many more to read our story. The article was retweeted 47 times. It’s an example of a story that generated lots of public interest yet was not covered by larger local media outlets at the time.
4. EXCLUSIVE: Video Shows Rescue at Va. Square Metro Station — 7,220 pageviews
It wasn’t an exclusive for long, but video we obtained of a retired Marine’s brave-if-not ill-advised rescue of a man who had fallen on the tracks at the Virginia Square Metro station went viral. USA Today and AOL News linked to our story, and the CBS Early Show flew Pinzon and his wife up for an interview. The video itself received 105,000 views on YouTube. Metro made us wait two months for the video after we filed a public records request, but it only took them a couple of hours to distribute the video to all four local TV stations (without mentioning that we filed the original request). So much for that “exclusive” — at least three stations led with the story at 11:00 p.m. without a single mention of ARLnow.com.
5. Break Out the Three Buck Chuck: Clarendon Trader Joe’s Close to a Reality — 6,716 pageviews
We were the first with the glorious news that Trader Joe’s was in the late stages of negotiations to lease space in the Clarendon Center project. Furious retweeting (58 retweets) and lots of happy commenting followed. This story, combined with a quick post about a new music video from “Arlington Rap guy” Remy Munasifi, helped make Sept. 14 the third-biggest day traffic-wise in site history.
6. Bacon Week Starts at 3 Restaurant — 6,668 pageviews
To be honest, this wasn’t much of an article, effort-wise. It probably took all of 10 minutes to look at 3′s “Bacon Week” menu and slap together a short blurb (it took more time to get a screen grab from that Beggin’ Strips commercial). Yet, on the internet, sometimes effort is trumped by timing and a snappy lede. Fark.com linked to the story, sending us a steady stream of bacon-loving traffic from around the world.
7. Rustico and Buzz Bakery Bringing Much-Needed Local Flair to Ballston — 5,416 pageviews
Chalk this one up to Google. The article was provocative and provided some additional details about two hotly-anticipated new eateries in Ballston. But the real staying power was provided by search engines. For awhile, a link to this article could be found at the top of the page when you searched Google for “Rustico Ballston.” Needless to say, quite a few people were searching for more information about Rustico’s imminent arrival.
8. Police Investigate Death at Kettler Capitals Iceplex — 5,359 pageviews
This is another story that received scant attention from larger local outlets, yet somehow managed to generate lots of reader interest. Other than the fact that it happened in the practice facility of a pro sports team, the most remarkable thing about this story was that the deceased was a young man who died suddenly and unexpectedly of natural causes. There was nothing suspicious about it — it was just a case of a beloved coach and co-worker who was taken from this earth too early.
9. Car Crashes into Rhodeside Grill — 5,329 pageviews
This story didn’t need words — the photos did all the talking. No one was hurt, thankfully. Somewhat surprisingly, the restaurant kept serving lunch, even though there was a car parked in its front window. Five months later, history nearly repeated itself. DCist sent us most of the traffic and helped make this our most-viewed story at the time.
10. Worker Falls to His Death at Courthouse Hotel — 5,183 pageviews
One day after a man killed himself by jumping out of a Rosslyn office building (see story #2), an ironworker accidentally fell to his death at the Arlington Court Suites Hotel. The deceased was a 35-year-old man who had recently become a father. Very sad story. The photo of the broken atrium window is haunting.
- Buffalo Wild Wings Coming to Crystal City
- Crystal City Chick-fil-A to Give Out 10,000 Free Sandwiches
- Coming Soon: Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill
- Road Closures and Metro Changes for Marine Corps Marathon
- Motorcyclist Killed in Collision on Route 50
- Arlington Police Plan DUI Checkpoint, Patrols This Weekend
- Washington Golf Center Closes Amid Questions.
Note that the pageview count only include instances where someone clicked through to the article page, not instances where the article was viewed on the homepage or in an RSS reader.
What happens when a parochial high school, which has owned its 20-acre tract of land in North Arlington since 1949, plans to upgrade its athletic facilities with the help of a local university? A full-blown neighborhood controversy, of course.
Bishop O’Connell High School wants to spend $6 million renovating its football and baseball fields. The renovations would add new artificial turf to the football field, making it doubly usable as a regulation soccer field.
The renovations would also add lights to both fields, so they can be used after the sun goes down. The school has agreed to limit hours of use, however.
Nearby Marymount University will help pay for the renovations, in exchange for use of the fields.
Enter the neighbors, who are worried about increased traffic and “commotion” in the area, especially at night.
“Realtors expect decline in home values,” blares a headline from a blog set up for the sole purpose of opposing the renovations.
“Petition drive shows strong opposition to O’Connell plan,” reads another, announcing that more than 250 people signed a petition opposing the plan.
The petition was signed by many people who don’t even live next to the school.
“[Signature gatherers] have found a large percentage of residents opposed to the proposal, including many who live outside the immediate streets around O’Connell,” the blog stated.
In an interview with TBD, one vocal neighbor and Williamsburg Civic Association member said he moved to the neighborhood under the assumption that the high school — and Tuckahoe Elementary School, across the street — would remain quiet after school hours.
“I’ve lived in the neighborhood 25 years now, and when I moved in, I was concerned about the high school,” the resident said. “But I talked to the neighbors, and they said it wasn’t hard to come to grips with the commotion during the day. It was a factor in my moving here.”
The county board is expected to consider the school’s renovation proposal at its Jan. 22 meeting.
Unanswered question: At what point is the desire of homeowners to maintain the neighborhood status quo outweighed by the desire of a long-time landowner to upgrade their facilities?
Police say a dark-colored sedan hit the woman in the 4200 block of Fairfax Drive around 12:20 a.m. The car did not stop and police are investigating the accident as a hit-and-run.
The young woman is in serious condition at a local hospital, according to police.
Anyone who witnessed the accident or has information about the accident is asked to call Det. Robert Wright at (703) 228-4618. Police say the striking vehicle should have noticeable front-end damage.
Update on 12/31/10 — Police have released additional information about the striking vehicle.
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a hit and run accident that occurred yesterday morning in the 4200 block of Fairfax Drive. At approximately 12:20 a.m. on Thursday, December 30, 2010, police responded for a pedestrian stuck by a vehicle.
A woman was crossing Fairfax Drive in a crosswalk when she was struck by a vehicle. The striking vehicle did not stop at the scene. She was transported to a local hospital in serious condition.
The striking vehicle has been identified as a dark colored 2003-2005 Dodge or Plymouth Neon. The vehicle would have noticeable damage to the front passenger side and passenger side mirror.
Police ask that anyone who witnessed the accident, or has information relating to this incident or the striking vehicle, contact Detective Robert Wright at (703) 228-4618.
Earlier this week we reported that some residents were upset with loophole in Arlington’s parking code that allows commercial trucks to park for extended periods of time in front of schools, libraries and other county properties.
But trucks aren’t the only hulking masses taking up space on the side of local roads. Here’s what one peeved resident wrote us this morning:
Storage pods are very popular nowadays with all the moving that goes on in Arlington, but usually they are picked up in a few days and require a county permit. This pod has been on 1st Road South in front of Butler Holmes Park for over three months. We have called the Boxcart company, and were told they would pick it up. They didn’t, and why would they – they are getting free storage of the pod courtesy of Arlington. We have called the county twice. They said they would look into it because they should be charging a fee to Boxcart – much more interested in revenue generation than getting this storage unit off our street. They didn’t even do that, as the storage unit is still sitting there with no permit.
What Diener was not was a likely crime victim. After all, he lived within the safe confines of Lyon Village and, if worse came to worse, he was one of the fastest runners of all his sporty friends.
Nonetheless, early in the morning on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009, Diener was beaten and stabbed to death near the intersection of 13th and Irving Streets in Arlington. The shocking crime has remained Arlington’s only unsolved murder since 2006.
Last night, about two dozen friends of Diener showed up at the intersection for a candlelight vigil. Many of those in attendance said they counted Carl as a close friend, speaking to his instantly likable, outgoing personality.
“He was a guy who loved his friends and enjoyed life,” said Ed Hall, who knew Diener through his gym (Carl was a constant fixture at Arlington Sport & Health Club). “A lot of times when you hear about a murder on TV, people always say, ‘Oh he was a nice person.’ Carl really was.”
Diener, 57, lived alone in an apartment he first moved into 20 years prior. He had recently retired from a government job, and was on his way to his other job — opening Arlington Sport & Health in the pre-dawn hours — when he was attacked. Police say it was a random act of violence.
“He was a random victim, there’s no doubt,” said Det. Rosa Ortiz, the lead investigator in the case.
Friends say there must have been multiple assailants to overpower a man as in-shape as Diener.
“It was probably more than one, because Carl was a big guy,” said Michael Byrnes, who said he had played racquetball with Diener four time per week for the last 30 years. “It was a senseless, brutal act… in what we consider a safe neighborhood.”
Hall said Arlington’s relatively low homicide rate — there were two murders last year, and only one so far this year — is little consolation.
“They talk about, ‘Oh there were only two murders in Arlington County last year,” said Hall, his voice cracking with emotion. “Well, when it’s your friend, two is too many.”
O’Leary, who first took office in 1984, touts his efforts to bring down the tax delinquency rate in Arlington County. The rate was nine percent shortly before he took office, and is just over one half of one percent now.
Republicans are currently looking for qualified candidates to run against O’Leary and other Democrats who are up for re-election this year.
After the jump is O’Leary’s letter to supporters announcing his re-election bid.
Artisphere Gets Latin Flavor — Arlington’s Guajillo restaurant and the District’s Casa Oaxaca restaurant have been chosen to jointly run a full-service restaurant and bar in Artisphere, the county’s new cultural center. The county board is expected to formally approve a lease at its Jan. 22 meeting. More from TBD.
Le Village Marche Merging with Verbena — Two Shirlington Village stores are becoming one. Le Village Marche, a French housewares store, is moving into the larger retail space of Verbena, a stationary store under the same ownership. The mew store, which will inherit the Le Village Marche name, will continue to offer many of the same products and services as Verbena. More from Shirlington Village Blog.
Bowen McCauley Dance Gets Creative With Funding — Bowen McCauley Dance, an Arlington non-profit, was profiled on the PBS Nightly Business Report last night. Faced with a major financial shortfall after Virginia pulled a third of its funding, the dance company doubled down, increasing the scope of its programs by drawing on cash reserves. More from PBS. (Scroll down to the final few paragraphs.)
Readers Help Raise Money for Charity — Thank you to everybody who bought raffle tickets to support Doorways for Women and Families over the past 36 hours. The raffle is now over, and thanks to ticket purchases from the readers of this and three other local web sites, our friends at What’s the Deal raised a total of $2,615 for four very worthy causes. (Update at 11:35 a.m. — The total raised for Doorways is $487.50. We’ll pitch in the additional bucks needed to bring it to a nice, even $500.00.)
Flickr pool photo by Christaki
Crime didn’t completely take a holiday over the weekend, but it certainly was at lower-than-usual levels.
Here are the two Grinchiest moments in Arlington, with both occurring on Christmas Eve.
MALICIOUS WOUNDING 12/25/10, 4300 block of Lee Highway. On December 25 at 3 am, a man was at a party when another man stabbed him in the arm. The suspect is described as a 25 year-old white Hispanic male, 5’6” and 200 lbs.
ASSAULT ON POLICE-ARREST 12/24/10, 2000 block of S. Jefferson Davis Highway. On December 24 at 10:15 pm, police responded to a hotel for an intoxicated male. The man was wanted out of Fairfax County on two warrants. When officers attempted to place him in custody, he assaulted on, and fled on foot. He was located and arrested. Dejuan Butler, 28, of Faulkner, MD, was charged with Assault and battery on Law Enforcement. He was held without bond.
Then, on Monday, a suspect allegedly put his hand under a woman’s skirt as she was riding up the escalator at the Clarendon Metro.
SEXUAL BATTERY 12/27/10, 3100 block of Wilson Boulevard. On December 27 at 3:10 pm, a woman was on the metro escalator when she realized a suspect slid his hand and cell phone under her skirt. She yelled and he left the station. The suspect is described as a white Hispanic male in his early 30’s, 4’10” with short black hair. He was wearing white sneakers, khaki pants, a light-colored sweatshirt and a denim jacket.
We initially heard that the woman snapped a cell phone photo of the suspect, which could be very helpful in catching the guy. So far, however, we haven’t been able to confirm that with police.
The rest of the Arlington County crime report, after the jump.
What kind of an animal left these unlikely prints in the snow overnight Sunday? That’s what one Arlington homeowner is asking.
I found these in the driveway early [Monday] morning. I’ve Googled animal prints and sent copies to friends, but no one has figured out the type of animal responsible.
One theory is that the prints belong to a hobbled bunny. Any other guesses?
The suggested $10 and $20 donations from attendees to will go toward upgrading the aging planetarium and saving it from possible closure.
Tonight’s event will feature three separate shows targeted at both older and younger audiences. Here’s a description from organizers:
4:30 pm – Children’s program – Legends of the Night Sky or The Zula Patrol
6:00 pm – Family program – Black Holes, The Other Side of Infinity
7:30 pm – Older Audiences – Oasis in Space
These digital shows will give viewers an example of the new programming available for the updated planetarium. All three programs will include an abbreviated “The Sky Tonight” by Planetarium Director Jonathan Harmon, as well as a Q&A about Saving the Planetarium by Friends of the Planetarium President Dr. Alice Monet.
Donations are requested: $10/person or $20/family per show. Kids 9 and younger are free.
Doors open 20 minutes before showtime. Or send an email (email@example.com) to reserve your seats and arrive 15 minutes before showtime to get your tickets. T-shirts and bumper stickers will be available.
Arlington Police make at least one arrest per day thanks to the cameras, which snap photos of passing license plates and compare them to a database of stolen cars and wanted subjects. According to an article that appeared in the Los Angeles Times earlier this week, the cameras can process up to 100,000 license plates per hour.
“It’s quick and efficient,” Arlington police Capt. Kevin Reardon told the Times.
Not everybody supports the cameras, however. Privacy watchdogs have raised questions about whether the technology can be abused or used to keep tabs on innocent people.
What do you think?
Arlington Place and Street Names Explained — Ever wonder how Rosslyn, Clarendon, Aurora Hills, Lorcom Lane and other county neighborhoods and thoroughfares got their names? The Falls Church News-Press’s Arlington correspondent has the answers, courtesy of a new book from the Arlington Historical Society. More from FCNP.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day Events in Shirlington — Check out this comprehensive list of the New Year’s Eve happenings in Shirlington Village (via Shirlington Village Blog). After you party all night, feel free to lounge all day at Busboys and Poets’ New Year’s Day pajama brunch (via Shirlington Village Blogspot).
Two Die in AHC-Owned Building — Carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected in the deaths of two people in a Baltimore rowhouse. The home is owned by Arlington-based affordable housing organization AHC Inc. More from the Baltimore Sun.
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA
The rapidly developing Columbia Pike corridor is finally getting a commercial gym.
An outpost of the World Gym franchise will be opening next month at 1058 South Walter Reed Drive, on the ground floor of the Halstead apartment building.
The 11,000 square foot facility will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“The neighborhood has been waiting for a gym forever,” said Connie Pappas, the wife of one of the gym’s co-owners, who was manning the gym’s next door sales office today as a steady stream of curious potential patrons walked through the door armed with questions about equipment and pricing.
Currently, the closest comparable gyms for Pike residents are the Bally Total Fitness on Pentagon Row or the Gold’s Gym on South Glebe Road. There’s also a large membership-based fitness center in the Thomas Jefferson Community Center at 3501 2nd Street South.
World Gym may not be the only gym in the area for much longer, however.
There are rumors that an XSport Fitness club is coming to the Siena Park apartment building at 2301 Columbia Pike in mid-2011. (Update at 4:30 p.m. — Staff at Siena Park say the rumors are true.)
Pappas says the World Gym’s main selling points are the modern equipment and friendly staff. Certainly the hours can’t hurt, either.
The gym is still under construction, but Pappas says she expects it to open the week of Jan. 11. The parking arrangement for gym customers is still being worked out, but Pappas hopes to reach a parking validation deal with the manager of the Halstead’s underground parking garage.
ARLnow.com has teamed up with our friends at What’s the Deal to support Doorways for Women and Families, which is trying to reach an important $100,000 fundraising goal by the end of the month.
With family homelessness at historic levels and incidents of domestic violence on the rise, Doorways has seen demand for its services rise in Northern Virginia.
For the next 36 hours, you’ll have the chance to make a small donation to Doorways while being entered into a raffle featuring more than 15 prizes from restaurants and other businesses around D.C.
Your raffle ticket purchase of $5 or $10 will help pay for Doorways’ domestic violence safehouse and court advocacy services, as well as its homelessness prevention efforts and emergency family shelter.
Click here to buy raffle tickets to support Doorways.
You can also check out the charities being supported by three other local sites — We Love DC, EatMore DrinkMore and K Street Kate — here. The charity that raises the most money (100 percent of the purchase price will go directly to the charities) will have their donations matched by What’s the Deal.
Crumbs Bakeshop, the New York City-based cupcake chain, will open its new Clarendon store on Thursday, the company Tweeted this morning.
The Clarendon Crumbs is located at 2839 Clarendon Boulevard. It is the chain’s first Arlington location, and second D.C. area location.
The company’s store openings are often accompanied by big product giveaways.
The photos above were taken in November.
Update at 2:35 p.m. — A 1,000 cupcake giveaway will be held on Saturday, Jan. 8.