The car, said to be a Volkswagen bug, was fully engulfed between I-66 and the entrance ramp from Lee Highway when firefighters arrived on the scene, just before 8:45 p.m.
The fire was quickly extinguished, but not before causing a backup. All lanes of eastbound I-66 were blocked for a time.
A resident of the High View Park neighborhood, just north of Virginia Hospital Center, tells us that neighbors have been buzzing with talk of a bunny boom.
“I’ve noticed something odd in Arlington this summer and the more I talk to other residents the more aware I become that this is happening all over the county (at least north Arlington, anyway). Namely, there has been an explosion in the rabbit population this year,” he writes. “I’m used to bunny sightings being a very rare thing, but this year I keep seeing them on a regular basis. I’m spotting rabbits more frequently than I have spotted squirrels.”
Those observations are backed up by Arlington County Parks spokesman Nathan Spillman, who confirms that naturalists have observed a rapidly increasing rabbit population.
“It is indeed a boom year for rabbits in the county,” Spillman said, “Rabbit populations here are cyclical and about every seven or eight years you see a large spike in the population followed by a relatively steep (and quick) decrease as the boom attracts predators like foxes and hawks which bring the population down… It’s likely the decline will start to become noticeable as early as this November,”
According to a just-released inventory of wildlife in Arlington, the rabbit population in Arlington (made up mostly of Eastern Cottontails, pictured) typically moves in cycles with the population of its primary predator, the fox. That’s consistent with anecdotal evidence cited by Sean, our tipstser.
“[A relative] who lives near Marymount University mentioned that she has seen dead foxes on the road numerous times and speculated that the loss of these predators might have resulted in the rabbit increase,” Sean wrote. “That seems to tie in with this article about the loss of predators in general.”
The population boom may not be limited to Arlington. Earlier this month, a Washington City Paper article declared that “bunnies are everywhere” in parts of Montgomery County and Northwest D.C.
“The manicured lawns of Chevy Chase are covered with rabbit families munching away on annuals and woody plants in the early morning,” a member of a neighborhood listserv is quoted as writing. “Early runs in various neighborhoods sometime remind me of Watership Down or the ‘tribbles’ in one of those Star Trek episodes.”
Photo via Wikipedia
WTD is offering $7 worth of burgers, shakes or fries at Ballston’s brgr:shack restaurant (4215 Fairfax Drive) for one dollar. Haven’t been yet? Check out brgr:shack’s menu, including their specialty burgers, shack salads, sweet potato fries and thick shakes.
The offer is on sale for the next five days. Already, more than 1,400 vouchers have been sold.
If you’re not hungry for burgers yourself, the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network is asking locals to consider donating the voucher so that the organization’s homeless clients can enjoy a nice meal.
State Senate candidate and Arlington County Board Member Barbara Favola is calling on Virginia health insurers to cover birth control and other reproductive health services for women.
Favola said she would sponsor legislation to require Virginia insurers to follow the Institute of Medicine’s recent recommendations that women be provided birth control, STD counseling, breast pumps and other health services at no charge. According to a campaign press release:
“Virginia insurers should cover birth control which is basic health care for women,” Favola said. “If they won’t do it voluntarily, I will sponsor legislation that mandates it. It’s time for women’s health to be a priority in Virginia.”
The Institute for Medicine, an independent, nonprofit organization, released a report today that says health insurance plans should be required to fully cover contraceptives and reproductive education with no cost to patients under the new federal health care law. Annual HIV tests, breastfeeding support and a well-woman care visit should also be fully covered as preventive health measures according to the recommendations.
“Women who have the opportunity to plan their families have healthier children and are better able to care for them. Yet, women are forced to pay more for health care because birth control is not covered by many insurance companies,” Favola continued, “It’s time for that to change. I will lead the fight in the Virginia state senate to make that a reality.”
Favola’s opponent in the Democratic primary, Jaime Areizaga-Soto, has consistently said that he supports the “reproductive rights of women.”
Today’s Rosslyn lunchtime concert, slated to feature New Orleans-inspired rock quartet The Grandsons, has been canceled “due to excessive heat.” Thursday’s lunchtime concert has also been canceled, as has the Thursday lunchtime farmers market.
Despite the forecast of triple-digit temperatures on Friday, the BID has so far not pulled the plug on its outdoor film festival, which is scheduled to feature 90s comedy Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. The films start at dusk on Fridays.
The 18-foot tall mermaid has graced the front yard of Leeway Overlee resident Paul Jackson since 2004, when Paul and wife Nancy had the bright idea to carve something out of their dying 100+ year old white ash tree. Nancy, in a moment of benevolence, suggested a mermaid, to satisfy Paul’s dual loves of fish and women. The final product, carved by Frederick, Md. artist Scott Dustin, featured what the Washington Post’s Laura Sessions Stepp described as “a shapely derriere and bare breasts that must be at least size DD.”
The busty mermaid, named “Damaged Goods” or D.G. for short, has attracted neighborhood and media attention ever since her controversial creation. She received the aforementioned Washington Post write-up shortly after Labor Day 2004 — in an article entitled “Majestic or Monstrous?” — and, more recently, she was the focus of a Connection Newspapers piece entitled “From Controversy to Landmark.” She’s also listed on RoadsideAmerica.com, an “online guide to offbeat tourist attractions.”
All is not well in paradise, however. D.G.’s roots are weakening and Paul has decided to sell rather than watch her teeter. He’s asking for $3,000, and not a dime less.
“Buyer is responsible for ‘slicing her off’ and transporting her to her new home,” he writes on his Craigslist ad. If you want to inspect the goods, D.G. can be viewed from the street or the sidewalk, on the south side of the 6200 block of Lee Highway.
Hat tip to M. Crider
An elderly woman was reportedly struck by an SUV at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Jefferson Street around 8:00 this morning.
The woman’s injuries were said to be non-life threatening. At least one lane of eastbound Columbia Pike was closed as a result of the accident.
Around 2:15 a.m. the officer was “responding to a call for a disturbance at a bar” at Ballston Common Mall when his cruiser collided with another car at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Glebe Road.
The officer is reported to be in serious condition while the driver’s injuries are said to be non-life threatening.
The intersection was closed for part of the morning, but has since reopened. WJLA.com has more.
Update at 1:40 p.m. — Police have released a statement about the incident. We’re told that the officer was responding to a call at Bailey’s Pub & Grill in Ballston. He’s expected to make a full, long-term recovery.
The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a serious accident that occurred this morning in the intersection of North Glebe Road and Washington Boulevard. An Arlington County police cruiser collided with another car in the intersection and the officer was transported to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.
At approximately 2:16 a.m. on Wednesday, July 20, 2011, police were dispatched to a large group of disorderly subjects at the Ballston Mall. Directly after, an accident involving a police officer was reported to the communications center. Medic units transported a police officer to a local hospital with serious injuries. The officer, age 40, has been with the Arlington County Police Department for almost five years. The driver of the other vehicle, a 21 year old woman, sustained minor injuries but was also transported to the hospital.
Traffic was shut down in the immediate area for a significant time period while officers collected evidence at the scene. Preliminary investigation reveals that the police officer was traveling southbound on North Glebe Road, proceeding straight through the intersection. The investigation is still ongoing and more information will be released when available.
Anyone who has additional information about this accident is asked contact Detective P. Mulvaney at (703) 228-4239. Witnesses can also call the Arlington Police Tip-Line at (703) 228-4242.
Rep. Jim Moran says he’s proud to have been among the 190 legislators who voted against a Republican-backed plan to slash federal spending and balance the budget.
The bill passed the House of Representatives 234-190 last night, but faces long odds in the Senate and a presidential veto threat. President Obama and Democrats have called for a “balanced” national debt reduction bill that cuts spending while also raising some taxes.
I was proud to vote against the “Cut, Cap and Balance Act” tonight. The House Republicans have presented us with their vision for America’s future. This is a vision in which the country turns its back on the achievements of the last century and chooses not to invest in meeting the challenges of the next century.
The 18 percent spending cap mandated by the bill would return the government to spending levels not seen since the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid. This would necessarily result in unprecedented cuts in student loans and grants, transportation, education, environmental protection and enforcement, in other words, the physical and human infrastructure of our economy.
The bill also demands that in return for avoiding an economically disastrous default on our debt, we make $111 billion in immediate spending cuts, seriously increasing the likelihood of a double-dip recession.
As an appropriator I have learned that budgets are the firmest expression of our values. This is not the time for the Democratic Party to sacrifice our values, values held by a majority of the American people even in the face of opposition that has reached unprecedented levels of ideological radicalization. We must address our long-term deficits, but we must do so in a balanced manner, combining rational spending cuts and increased revenues.
Noise Monitoring at DCA — A company has been hired to measure noise levels around Reagan National Airport. The information gathered will be used to figure out “ways to control or reduce noise pollution.” [NBC Washington]
Bus Stop Decorated — A local ART bus stop has been “yarn bombed.” [Facebook]
Local Newspaper CEO Pleads Guilty — The president and CEO of Connection Newspapers, which publishes the Arlington Connection weekly, has pleaded guilty to failing to pay more than $940,000 in federal payroll taxes. [Washington Examiner]
Flickr pool photo by Mark C. White