The incident happened just after 11:00 this morning, on the trail in the area of Ohio Street, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. A woman told police that a white male, possibly in his mid-30s, jumped out of the bushes and exposed himself to her. The suspect then ran off, heading west on the trail, wearing jeans and a black sweatshirt.
Police searched the area around the trail but were unable to locate the man.
The incident is similar to a string of indecent exposure incidents in early 2010. A man exposed himself to women at least 11 times along the W&OD Trail between January and March 2010. The incidents stopped after police issued a press release warning women to be on the lookout for suspicious activity along the trail.
Bicyclists hoping for a new way to get from Columbia Pike to Pentagon City without having to navigate the tricky eastern end of the Pike will have to keep waiting. A plan to build a bike and pedestrian path from the Arlington View neighborhood to Army Navy Drive is still on hold until additional engineering plans and project funding can be procured.
In June 2010, the Arlington County Board approved a plan for Army Navy County Club to build a new four-story clubhouse. As part of the approval process, the club agreed to grant the county an easement which would allow a 30-foot-wide emergency access road and bike/pedestrian path to be built from S. Queen Street, near Hoffman-Boston Elementary, to the I-395 underpass that leads from Army Navy Drive to the club.
The primary motivation for the new road, county officials emphasized, is a need for more north-south connections across I-395 for emergency vehicles.
“There are very few places along the 395 corridor in Arlington where we actually have an underpass, or a way to get from one site of the highway to another without going through an interchange,” says Arlington County Director of Transportation Dennis Leach. “So it’s incredibly valuable…. for emergency response purposes.”
As a side benefit, though, Leach said the path will be “a real benefit to the community” in terms of providing better access for cyclists and pedestrians.
Despite the positives, the project hasn’t gone very far. First, Leach says, more detailed engineering plans need to be drawn up. Then funding needs to be procured through the county’s Capital Improvement Plan and bond referendum process. An early engineering study, conducted in 2010, suggested that the project would require very high retaining walls to compensate for the steep hill the access facility must run along. The cost of such a construction project was expected to exceed $3 million, we’re told.
Leach declined to speculate as to when the access road might eventually be built. He also declined to comment about a 2010 lawsuit filed by disgruntled members of Army Navy Country Club who objected to a bike path being built along one of the holes at their golf course.
A call to Army Navy Country Club for comment was not returned. The club’s then-general manager, who wrote a letter to the editor in support of the emergency access and bike path in 2010, is no longer employed at the club, according to a woman who answered the phone there.
The Special Olympics of Virginia is holding a fundraising challenge called “Over the Edge,” and the prize for raising at least $1,000 is the opportunity to rappel off the roof of the Hilton Crystal City hotel on Friday, June 22.
Fundraisers can either sign up to repel down the 15-story building themselves, or nominate someone else to be “tossed” off the building — a boss, for instance. Registration is limited to the first 75 rappellers.
In addition to the fundraisers, several media personalities and VIPs will be rappelling down the side of the hotel on Thursday, June 21, in an effort to bring additional attention to the cause. The rappelling is being supervised by a company that specializes in running such fundraisers.
(Updated at 11:05 a.m.) Last year Arlington Public Schools hosted an “Arlington Idol” singing competition for high school students. This year, adults are getting a chance to compete in their own contest.
As part of its adult education program, APS is hosting the “2012 Arlington Sing-Off Competition” for those 18 and over.
Auditions for the contest are taking place on Friday, May 11 and Thursday, May 17 at 7:00 p.m. The May 11 audition is being held at Washington-Lee High School, while the May 17 audition is being held at Kenmore Middle School. There is a $10 registration fee for all participants.
Entrants must sing as a soloist — no groups are allowed — and they must do so acapella, at least during the audition phase. Songs must be memorized, and profanity is not allowed.
Three judges will help narrow down the field. The judges are Bolormaa Judgersuren, an opera singer originally from Mongolia; Dawn Frederick, a professional singer and vocal coach; and Adelaide Ruble, a recording artist and vocalist for a local swing dance band.
After the auditions, a semi-final competition will be held at Jefferson Middle School on May 21. The finalists will compete at Jefferson Middle School on June 5.
Anyone interested in competing can register online or call 703-228-7200. The grand prize for the competition is a $100 gift card and an opportunity to perform at Arlington’s first annual “Night of Concert Music,” which is being held on June 15 at Jefferson Middle School.
Does asking developers to contribute to affordable housing funds or to pay for improvements to nearby roads constitute “official corruption?”
That’s what Arlington resident and conservative political activist Morton C. Blackwell suggested in a letter to the editor of the Washington Times last week.
Blackwell was writing about a study that found Virginia was “among the states most at risk for public corruption” — a study he argued was deeply flawed. At the end of the letter, however, he took a dig at Arlington and other local jurisdictions which often require “public benefits” as part of construction plans that require special approvals.
Especially in Northern Virginia, local governments systematically extort large payments and “concessions” for “public” purposes from land owners before issuing permits for commercial construction on private property. That’s official corruption.
In the past, during site plan amendment processes, Arlington has asked property owners to contribute to its affordable housing fund, to fund certain community amenities like parks and black box theaters, and to help pay for new sidewalks, traffic lights, or road improvements.
Certainly, such concessions are a bargaining chip that Arlington and other localities can and will play. But is it wrong to play it, as Blackwell suggests?
Major Redevelopment Proposed for Rosslyn — A developer has proposed tearing down four office buildings and two residential towers between N. Kent Street and Arlington Ridge Road in Rosslyn, and replacing them with four new buildings, including 2.5 million square feet of offices, residences, hotel rooms and retail space. If all goes well, the project might even attract a Ritz Carlton hotel and a Harris Teeter grocery store. [Washington Business Journal]
Nuclear Attack Would Be Survivable for Arlington — Most of Arlington would survive a terrorist nuclear bomb attack on downtown D.C., according to a federal report released earlier this month. The biggest danger to Arlington wouldn’t be the initial blast, but would be the nuclear fallout afterward. One scenario suggests the Columbia Pike corridor would be vulnerable to fallout given a specific set of wind conditions. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington ‘Peeps Show’ Contestants — Arlingtonians are a crafty bunch. A number of semifinalists of the annual Washington Post “Peeps Show” diorama contest are listed as Arlington residents. Among them are the creators of “Faster Than the Peep of Light?,” “GOPeep Primary Debate,” “A Peeps Eye View into an Apeepment on M St.,” and “Marine Corps Marathon: The Peep-les Marathon.”