After years of reports of coyote sightings in various parts of north Arlington, county naturalists finally have visual proof of their existence.
From a county press release:
Just last week, a game camera at Potomac Overlook Regional Park, in Arlington, took the first video of an Arlington coyote. “We’ve had reports of them for years now, mostly in north Arlington, along the Potomac River, but couldn’t get any proof,” said County Natural Resources Manager Alonso Abugattas. “The public has sent us several pictures claiming coyotes but they were all either dogs or mangy foxes.”
What brings coyotes, long an iconic image of the West -– and paired with the Roadrunner in a beloved series of cartoons — to Arlington? Abugattas believes that our highly urbanized, densely populated County might actually be attractive to coyotes, who are skillful scavengers.
“Coyotes will make a living wherever they can find food, even in big cities,” he said. “I think they are here to stay.”
Arlington’s coyotes have proven to be very cautious and wary of people. They move around primarily at night, according to naturalists.
“Coyotes are very good at avoiding people, so residents shouldn’t be overly concerned,” Cliff Fairweather, a naturalist at the Long Branch Nature Center, said in a statement. “The key is for resident to not feed them or to encourage them not to be afraid of people. The longer they are afraid of people, the better it will be for coyotes and people.”
In an effort to combine form and function, Arlington has outfitted four conference rooms at the county government building (2100 Clarendon Blvd) with glass panels etched with unique designs by local artist Linn Meyers.
Before the artwork was proposed, the county was already planning to install an industrial film over the glass panels that line the conference rooms, to minimize the “distracting ‘fishbowl effect’” of people constantly walking by and peering inside during meetings. By combining the money set aside for the film installation and an existing fund for new public art in the building, the county was actually able to complete the project “well under budget.”
The artwork was dubbed “Untitled” by Meyers.
“Demonstrating how the inclusion of public art can be a savvy, attractive and economical civic design solution, Untitled is the second of eight major public art projects being delivered in a 12 month period,” said Jim Byers, Cultural Marketing Manager for Arlington Economic Development. “It is part of a broad initiative by Arlington’s Public Art Program to grow capacity in local artists to undertake public art projects.”
The etched panels were installed in three conference rooms on the ground floor of 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, and one conference room on the 3rd floor, near the County Board room. An official dedication for the artwork is planned for 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 10.
Update on 4/6/12 — The advisory for Four Mile Run has been lifted.
Arlington County is reporting a sewage spill near Columbia Pike and S. Dinwiddie Street, next to Four Mile Run.
The spill came from an overflowing sewage pipe and was not the result of construction activity, according to Arlington County Department of Environmental Services (DES) spokeswoman Myllisa Kennedy. Workers from the nearby Arlington Mill Community Center construction site spotted an overflowing manhole cover and helped to contain the spill, Kennedy said.
DES estimates that about 6,000 gallons of sewage spilled from the manhole over the course of an hour. The spill was first spotted at 11:00 a.m. and was largely contained by noon, we’re told.
Officials are advising residents to avoid contact with Four Mile Run from Columbia Pike to the Potomac River until further notice. From an Arlington County press release:
Residents are advised to stay away from the affected waters and to keep their pets away until further notice, to eliminate the risk of exposure to untreated sewage. Residents should not fish in the streams or have any contact with the waters – including wading or swimming – until further notice from the County. The advisory to avoid all contact is considered an extra precaution to allow the effect of the discharge to be diminished by natural flushing of the streams. The recreational areas affected include the following parks adjacent to the streams: Barcroft, Shirlington, Jennie Dean, Allie Freed and Bicentennial Gardens.
The County has posted flyers along the affected areas of Four Mile Run.
It will take about a week for the sewage to work its way out of the stream to the point where the county will declare it safe for humans and pets, Kennedy said. That process would be sped up by any rain the area receives over the next week.
Editor’s Note: This periodic sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email.
Lisa says she’d like to know the following about Ballston Mall:
- “Are there plans for renovation? If so, will it be a complete tear down, face lift, efforts to get new stores in etc.?”
- “What stores might be considered? Has there been a reason to date that better stores have stayed away? (I’m assuming there is low rent, based on who has been there.)”
- “If no plans, given the whirlwind of other development of the Ballston area, how do the owners of the mall expect to be taken in a newer and nicer Ballston?”
I wish I could tell you that Ballston Common Mall has definite plans to redevelop itself into a fresh new option that will replace your need to hike over to Pentagon City or fight the traffic surrounding Tysons Corner.
There are three major stakeholders in Ballston Common Mall: Macy’s, Forest City Enterprises and Arlington County. Macy’s owns their respective stores at either end of the mall. Forest City owns the remaining shops and offices. Arlington County owns the parking garage. Substantive changes to the property as a whole will need to involve the consent and participation of the owners of all the various connected parcels.
The Arlington County official I spoke to said that they have not received any formal requests to modify the mall at this point. In fact, he made it seem as though they are content with the current limitations of the mall, which I find hard to believe. I expected that Arlington County would be keen on maximizing the revenue of this prime piece of real estate. More revenue equals more tax dollars coming into Arlington County.
Founders Square, located next door to Ballston Common Mall, is a great example of maximizing revenue while adding value to the community. They displaced a Metro bus garage and are building two office towers, a hotel and an apartment building with a number of new retail options on the ground floor.
The person I spoke with at Arlington County took time to point out how well the food court serves local employees. Seriously? The Arbour Realty office is a block from Ballston mall and I have to say that it is a very rare occasion that you will find me at the food court because there are at least 10 better options on the way over there.
Arlington County has released the latest version of its annual Profile publication, a compendium of vital statistics about the county. The 2012 Arlington County Profile includes information about the county’s demographics, economy and cultural resources.
In terms of population, Arlington’s Community Planning, Housing and Development (CPHD) department estimates that there are 99,900 total household in the county. Arlington’s population, meanwhile, will exceed a quarter of a million by 2040, according to CPHD forecasts.
- 2012 Population: 211,700
- 2012 Employment: 227,500 (jobs located in Arlington)
- 2040 Population: 252,400 (est.)
- 2040 Employment: 308,400 (est.)
Government was the top job sector in Arlington, based on 2012 estimates.
- Government: 26.4%
- Professional and technical services: 20.7%
- Hospitality and food: 7.1%
- Transportation and warehousing: 4.5%
- Real estate: 3.7%
- Information: 2.9%
- Finance and insurance: 2.4%
- Construction: 2.1%
- Other services: 21.4%
- Other (including retail): 8.9%
As of 2011, the top ten private employers were:
- Deloitte: 5,100 jobs
- Lockheed Martin: 2,700 jobs
- Virginia Hospital Center: 2,120 jobs
- Marriott International: 1,940 jobs
- Bureau of National Affairs: 1,906 jobs
- Booz Allen Hamilton: 1,400 jobs
- SRA International: 1,360 jobs
- CACI: 1,217 jobs
- SAIC: 1,200 jobs
- Corporate Executive Board: 1,060 jobs
Arlington’s economy remains strong, with low unemployment and high household income. The 2012 median household income in Arlington is $99,600, while per capita income is $78,000. Total retail sales in Arlington came to $3.14 billion in 2011. The residential rental vacancy rate was 4.6 percent while the average rent went up by 2 percent from 2010 to 2011. Arlington’s civilian labor force of 141,073 had an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent as of March 2011.
Arlington’s 2012 tax base was divided between 49 percent commercial and 51 percent residential.
Arlington is also rich culturally. The county had 8 libraries, 149 county parks, 13 community centers, 3 nature centers, 6 senior centers, 120 athletic fields, 118 tennis and basketball courts, and 86 miles of bicycle routes and jogging trails.
The campaign of Bruce Shuttleworth, would-be Democratic primary challenger to Rep. Jim Moran, is vowing to press on after election officials determined that it came up 18 signatures short of the 1,000 needed to get on the June 12 primary ballot.
“After careful examination and confirmation of our petition against voter rolls, we are supremely confident that this is nothing more than a minor clerical error,” Shuttleworth for Congress spokeswoman Talisha Hill told ARLnow.com. “We intend to work closely with the staff at the Board of Elections to resolve this clerical issue.”
Should Shuttleworth not be able to get on the ballot, Moran will be able to save his $462,964 campaign war chest for the November general election, where he will face Republican Patrick Murray. Murray, who unsuccessfully challenged Moran in 2010, has raised $21,872 as of the latest reporting date.
Englin Admits to Affair — Del. David Englin (D), who represents parts of Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax, admitted Monday night that he had been “unfaithful” in his marriage and that he’s currently separated from his wife, political consultant Shayna Englin. The four-term House of Delegates member announced he will not seek reelection in 2013. [Sun Gazette]
Va. Residents Are 60 Percent of Nats Attendance — About 60 percent of those attending Nationals baseball games are from Virginia, compared to about 25 percent from Maryland and 15 percent from the District, according to internal team numbers. Eight years ago a group tried to bring the Nationals and the team’s new stadium to Pentagon City, but ultimately objections from Arlington residents helped to sink the plan after concerns were raised about crowds and traffic. A large cluster of office buildings is now proposed for what could have been the site of the baseball stadium. [Washington Post]
Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day — From 12:00 to 8:00 p.m. today, Ben & Jerry’s locations will be celebrating the company’s 34 years in business by giving away a free scoop of ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt. Unfortunately, local ice cream lovers will need to get their free scoops in D.C. or Alexandria — there are no participating Ben & Jerry’s locations in Arlington County. [Ben & Jerry's]
New Legal Programs in Ballston — The Ballston-based Court Reporting Institute is offering four new court reporting programs for those seeking a legal career. The programs include Legal Assistant, Voice Writing, Electronic Evidence Discovery and Certified Shorthand Reporter. The accelerated 120-hour Certified Shorthand Reporter course trains students to record notes and dialogue at a rate of 225 words per minute.
Photo courtesy Andrew Clegg