Just after 3:15 p.m. police received a call for a fight on the 800 block of S. Highland Street, near the Career Center. By the time officers arrived school security already had two suspects in custody, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Security had also removed a handgun from the waistband of one of the suspects involved in the fight. The weapon and five rounds of ammunition were secured by police, Sternbeck said.
The fight started when a former student drove by a group of current Career Center students and recognized one of the individuals as someone he had a previous encounter with, according to police.
“The adult male subject stopped the vehicle he was driving, got out of the car and approached the group of students. He was heard saying he had a gun and was reaching for it when the fight broke out between the two parties,” said Sternbeck. “The subject with the gun, Jimmy Salazar-Alfaro, 24, of Arlington, was charged with Assault. He was also giving a banning notice and barred from school property.”
Salazar-Alfaro had a valid Virginia concealed carry permit, Sternbeck said.
A proposed development that could bring more than 2 million square feet of new office and hotel space to Pentagon City has entered the site plan review process.
The first of several expected Arlington Site Plan Review Committee meetings on the so-called PenPlace project was held last night at county government headquarters in Courthouse. The meeting was standing room only as interested community members packed the small audience area to observe the hour-and-a-half-long proceedings.
Developer Vornado has proposed building five structures on a large, 10-acre block of mostly vacant land bordered by Army Navy Drive, S. Eads Street and S. Fern Street, one block from the Pentagon City Metro station.
Two of the proposed buildings are commercial office buildings, each just over 500,000 square feet. Another two are secure office buildings to be used by the Department of Defense, between 300,000 and 500,000 square feet apiece. The final building is a 300-room hotel. A 16-story Marriott Residence Inn hotel is the only existing structure on the block; it is not part of the development plans.
The proposed building heights vary from 139 feet for the hotel to 291 feet — or 18-22 stories — for two of the office buildings.
The proposal includes the creation of four new streets that will help improve vehicle accessibility — including an extension of S. Elm Street from the adjacent Metropolitan Park residential project and an extension of 12th Street S. from Eads Street to Fern Street. County staff have expressed interest in approving ground floor retail space along the proposed stretch of 12th Street.
The Arlington County Board is not expected to consider the project any earlier than June, but the plan is already facing an uphill battle as it advances toward Board consideration. Members of local neighborhood groups, like the Arlington Ridge Civic Association, have expressed concerns about building heights and additional traffic generated by the new office buildings. Last night some Site Plan Review Committee members also expressed skepticism about the project as proposed.
A local couple is in the running for a Facebook contest organized by the national bridal store chain David’s Bridal.
Samantha Sissman and Clyde Wentling, who first met as students at Arlington’s H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, are getting married this summer. They’re hoping to win the $2,500 “Share Your Love” contest to help offset the expense of flying the mother of the groom-to-be in from her home in West Africa.
Sissman and Wentling both grew up in Arlington. Though they attended high school together, they only started dating in 2008 after meeting again years later through friends. Sissman, whose family still lives in South Arlington, has worked as an aide in the Arlington County Board office for nearly four years.
Photo via Facebook
In a symbolic Valentine’s Day act, a gay couple submitted an application for a marriage license to the Arlington County Circuit Court Clerk’s office this morning — only to be denied because Virginia does not permit same-sex marriages.
James Fisher and Ron Bookbinder were joined outside the Arlington County courthouse by several dozen supporters of gay marriage, including County Board member Jay Fisette, Clerk of the Circuit Court Paul Ferguson, four local ministers and a local rabbi.
Following speeches and prayers outside, Fisher and Bookbinder went inside the courthouse to submit their marriage license application. Ferguson accepted the application but explained that state law prohibited him from issuing the license. He then promised to keep the application on file until gay marriage is legalized in Virginia, according to Elizabeth Wildhack, one of the event’s organizers.
The event was one of three such events in Virginia today planned by a group called People of Faith for Equality in Virginia. Religious leaders and their congregants were expected to witness several gay couples attempting to get married in Richmond and in Fairfax later in the day.
“These actions are part of a growing movement in Virginia to recognize the value of all families,” said Rev. Dr. Robin Gorsline, President of People of Faith for Equality in Virginia, in a statement.
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Wildhack
The bill, which passed the House of Delegates yesterday and the state Senate two weeks ago, would require an ultrasound to determine a fetus’ gestation age. It would then give the woman the option to view the ultrasound before her abortion.
Englin said the bill represents a level of government intrusion that “shocks the conscience.” According to Englin’s office:
… only an invasive transvaginal probe ultrasound can effectively determine gestation age during much of the first trimester, which is when most abortions occur. Englin offered an amendment to require the pregnant woman’s consent prior to subjecting her to a vaginal penetration ultrasound, but House Republicans rejected the amendment by a vote of 64 to 34.
Englin issued a statement in response to the bill’s passage:
This bill will require many women in Virginia to undergo vaginal penetration with an ultrasound probe against their consent in order to exercise their constitutional right to an abortion, even for nonsurgical, noninvasive, pharmaceutical abortions. This kind of government intrusion shocks the conscience and demonstrates the disturbing lengths Republican legislators will go to prevent women from controlling their own reproductive destiny.
I offered an amendment that would have protected women from the unwanted vaginal penetration required by this bill. House Republicans rejected that amendment. The next time Virginia Republicans speak the words ‘government intrusion’ I hope voters will remember this vote and hold them accountable for their hypocrisy.
Republicans, however, countered that the abortion itself is an invasive procedure.
“If we want to talk about invasiveness, there’s nothing more invasive than the procedure that she is about to have,” said bill sponsor Del. Kathy Byron (R), according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
A bicyclist was struck by a Metrobus at the intersection of S. Glebe Road and Lang Street this morning.
The bus was traveling eastbound around 9:15 a.m. when it apparently struck the cyclist in or near the intersection. The cyclist suffered a head injury but was conscious when he was loaded into an ambulance and brought to the hospital.
Impact damage was visible on the Metrobus’ windshield.
Arlington County police and Metro personnel were taking photos and measurements of the scene following the accident. Traffic on S. Glebe Road was snarled as police blocked blocked one and periodically both lanes during the investigation.
Senor Pan opened its doors yesterday at 922 S. Walter Reed Drive. The South American bakery/cafe serves specialty baked goods and coffee, as well as a variety of other dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The menu includes breakfast sandwiches, empanadas, pupusas, and quesadillas. There are sides like fried yucca and fried plantain. And there’s a hot bar where you choose a meat and various toppings and place it either in an arepa, tostada, tortilla, pita, salad bowl or rice bowl.
While Senor Pan is primarily South American, there are other culinary influences at work. Co-owner Andres Vives brings and Italian influence to the restaurant, and Senor Pan’s pastry chef — who hails from France — brings a French influence.
Senor Pan will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Happy Valentine’s Day — Be sure to check out this article from last week for a list of last-minute Valentine’s Day date ideas.
Big Win for Washington-Lee Gymnastics — The Washington-Lee High School girls’ gymnastics team has captured the Northern Region gymnastics title for the first time in school history. The team is now a contender for the state title at a competition on Friday. [Sun Gazette]
Bicycle Ridership High for January — Thanks in part, perhaps, to the mild weather, Arlington County counted 140,252 bicycle trips along local trails during the month of January. The count is high by seasonal standards. [CommuterPage Blog]
Parking Spots in Shirlington — How many off-street parking spots are there around Shirlington Village? There are 2,446 such spots, according to a handy map of Shirlington garages. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief