Via the Montreal Gazette, of all places, comes word that Capitals star Alex Ovechkin’s new girlfriend has been hanging around Arlington as of late.
Russian tennis star Maria Kirilenko has been photographed working out with the George Washington University tennis team, presumably at the indoor Sport & Health Club courts in Crystal City. She has also been spotted at Capitals practices, presumably at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston, according to the Gazette.
Ovechkin, who lives in a $1.6 million home in Arlington’s Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood, recently confirmed the relationship by Tweeting out a photo of the happy couple (left). Before that Tweet, however, the Gazette could only speculate as to why Kirilenko seemed to be spending so much time in our fair county.
“In all seriousness, putting aside the fact that this is pretty good gossip, if you’re a Russian tennis player and you choose … Arlington, Va. for some indoor practice, it’s probably not because you’re an American history buff,” the paper said.
Let us know via email or the comments if you spot Ovie and his new GF out on the town.
Now that December is here, the Arlington County Fire Department is asking residents to keep safety in mind when they trim the tree or string the lights.
Every year, an average of 240 Christmas tree-related home fires in the United States result in an average of 13 deaths and 27 injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Those fires are usually caused by electrical problems, heat sources placed too close to the tree, decorative lights or candles.
ACFD released the following safety tips this afternoon.
Fire Safety and Your Tree
- Keep the trunk of the tree immersed in water at all times.
- Do not permit smoking near the tree.
- Use flame retardant trim/decorations.
- Use only lights that are UL approved.
- Inspect lights for frayed or cracked wiring, broken plugs and defective sockets.
- Unplug lights at night and when leaving home.
- Do not over load circuits or outlets.
- Do not run extension cords under carpets or across doorways.
- Remove the tree soon after the holidays, before the needles dry out.
- Check your smoke alarms; install new batteries if necessary.
- Use caution if hanging lights outside; be aware of power lines and hazards while using a ladder.
- Use caution with candles or open flame devices.
The Arlington County Fire Department wishes everybody a safe and happy holiday season.
Major crime in Arlington took a bit of a holiday over the long Thanksgiving weekend. One weekend assault and battery incident was somewhat notable, however, for the fact that the victim is a Clarendon bar bouncer and the alleged perpetrator is listed online as an amateur mixed martial arts fighter.
ASSAULT AND BATTERY-ARREST, 11/27/11, 3100 block of Clarendon Boulevard. On November 27 at 1:20 am, a man assaulted a bouncer at a bar. Grayson Rowny, 29, of Alexandria, was charged with Assault and Battery and released on a summons to appear in court.
As always, all suspects listed in the Arlington County crime report are innocent until proven guilty. The rest of the report, after the jump.
The Navy Exchange/Quarters K gas station on S. Joyce Street, near the Pentagon, closed for good about a month ago. The Navy Times reports that the station will eventually be demolished as part of the cemetery expansion plan.
The expansion is being made possible by a 2008 land swap deal between Arlington County and the federal government. At some point after 2011, the county will exchange a 4.3 acre parcel of land along Southgate Road — which runs from Henderson Hall to the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Joyce Street — for 4.3 acres of land on the present Navy Annex site along Columbia Pike.
The county is eying the western portion of the Navy Annex, which will be shuttered and torn down, for a proposed Freedman’s Village heritage center and black history museum. The federal government, meanwhile, plans to eliminate Southgate Road to make way for the aforementioned planned expansion of Arlington National Cemetery.
Another aspect of the expansion plan is playing out in the halls of congress. Arlington’s congressional delegation has been seeking funding for a realignment of Columbia Pike between the Air Force Memorial and S. Joyce Street. The proposed project would eliminate a sharp bend in the road that routes it closer to the cemetery. Instead, the proposed realignment would take the Pike on a more direct path to Joyce Street, through what is now a Defense Department parking lot.
The project promises to “provide additional contiguous expansion space for the Cemetery” while enhancing the streetscape and resulting in “significant improvements in safety, mobility and economic development along the Columbia Pike Corridor.”
Congressman Jim Moran’s office confirmed that the Pike realignment was still in the planning stage but was unable to provide an approximate timeline for the project due to uncertainties regarding funding.
Today is World AIDS Day, and Arlington County is marking the occasion by offering free HIV testing.
The HIV rapid testing is available from 4:00 to 7:00 this afternoon at 800 S. Walter Reed Drive. No appointment is necessary, but residents can call 703-228-1200 for more information.
More information about the county’s HIV and STD testing services is available here.
One month after opening, “Ray’s Steak and Cheese” (1713 Wilson Blvd) is no more.
The eatery, which featured a $10.99 half-pound steak and cheese sandwich, has been replaced by its predecessor, Ray’s Hell Burger Too. Owner Michael Landrum said the table service version of his famous Ray’s Hell Burger is back by popular demand.
A sign on the door (pictured) summed it up this way: “Oops, we goofed. You let us know how much you wanted Ray’s Hell Burger Too back and we listened!”
“People don’t like change,” Landrum lamented over the phone this morning, while acknowledging that the surreptitious switch to “steak and cheese” was “a little more confusing in reality than was warranted.” Although he felt that the steak and cheese sandwich was so good that it “deserved and needed its own showcase,” Landrum admitted to having some doubts when making the switch last month.
“Why mess with something that works?” he asked, rhetorically.
Landrum said the hefty steak and cheese sandwich will now be permanently placed on the menu of Ray’s to the Third, located across the street at 1650 Wilson Boulevard. In the meantime, he hopes that his loyal Ray’s Hell Burger Too customers don’t hold the ordeal against him.
“We’ve restored order and natural harmony,” he said. “Over the holiday season you hope that people have a little forgiveness in their hearts.”
Ballston BID to Support Mall Redevelopment — The head of the newly-formed Ballston Business Improvement District says one of her first goals will be “redeveloping” Ballston Common Mall. The BID is trying to get people to think of Ballston as a science and technology hub, rather than a place best known for its “down-on-its-heels” mall. [Connection Newspapers]
‘Winter Wonderland’ Coming to Clarendon — On Saturday, Dec. 10, a family-friendly ‘Winter Wonderland’ event will be held at the Market Common Clarendon shopping center. Santa Claus is expected to arrive at the event by hitching a ride on a fire truck, according to an event flyer. [Market Common Clarendon]
County Announces Human Right Award Winners — From a press release: “A community group and three outstanding individuals are Arlington’s 2011 James B. Hunter Human Rights Award winners.” [Arlington County]