Eighth grade students at H-B Woodlawn sure found a sweet way to learn about geography and world issues. Today they unveiled the project that’s been in the works for weeks — a map of the world made out of cupcakes.
The 80 students each chose a country to write a report about, focusing on one particular issue in that country. They made signs for their cupcakes on the map, which correspond to the individual reports that are hung on the wall of the gym.
The students worked from 9:00 a.m. until about 1:00 p.m. to construct the map, which is made up of more than 2,500 cupcakes. Most of the sweets were made by students and their families, but some were also donated by Harris Teeter at the Lee-Harrison Center and by Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown.
Tonight, the display is open to the public from 6:00-7:00 p.m. Students will be on hand to explain their research on the issues. Visitors who give a donation may take home some cupcakes. The money will go to the Arlington Food Assistance Center and the U.N. World Food Program.
(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) If the County Board approves the construction contract, work could start soon on a major road improvement project near the Pentagon City mall.
An agenda item is on the table to award a contract to Milani Construction LLC for the work along S. Hayes Street from S. 15th Street to Army Navy Drive. There will also be improvements made to the Pentagon City Metro station plazas. The contract is worth more than $9 million.
The project is designed to improve safety along the corridor for both pedestrians and drivers. Some of the changes in the area will include new bike lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks and lane markings, along with areas to cross the street mid-block. New ADA ramps and pedestrian crossing equipment will be installed at all intersections, as will upgraded traffic lights with new timing. Improved landscaping, including bioretention basins and rain gardens for stormwater runoff, will be installed, along with additional street trees and upgraded street furniture.
The two Pentagon City Metro stations will see some upgrades like new canopies, wider sidewalks and better lighting.
The county worked with members of the community, VDOT and WMATA to devise the design. As part of an agreement from 2006, VDOT will reimburse Arlington for 80 percent of the project costs, up to $5.9 million.
The County Board is scheduled to take up the issue at its meeting on Saturday.
Arlington will soon be home to a tea house. House of Steep (3800 Lee Hwy) is moving into one of the retail spaces at the Bromptons at Cherrydale property, which is now known as 3800 Lofts.
The store’s website highlights the calming tea house atmosphere, in which customers can enjoy tea, snacks and sandwiches. Interestingly, spa services will also be offered, with the signature treatment being an aromatherapy foot soak.
So far we only know of one other retailer that’s coming to the building: a Subway sandwich shop.
There’s no official opening date yet, but the website hints that the owners of House of Steep are aiming for June. Until then, customers can purchase items from the store online.
Meanwhile, the building’s management company is applying for a permit for outdoor seating. The seating area would be in front of the building, along Lee Highway.
County staff had previously raised concerns about the outdoor seating plan first put forth in 2003. In addition to trouble with the placement of tree pits, the layout reportedly didn’t provide corridors to the retail entrances and the residential exit stairs.
The plan redesign fixed the issues, so reviewers now recommend the County Board approves the outdoor seating permit at Saturday’s meeting.
The incident started around noon when an officer in a marked ACPD cruiser stopped to assist Virginia State Police who had stopped a pedestrian on I-66 in Prince William County. A struggle ensued, the suspect struck the Arlington officer in the face and then hopped into the officer’s cruiser and sped off
Virginia State Police, Prince William County and Fairfax County police pursued the stolen cruiser, until the chase ended on I-66 at Cub Run, near the Prince William County/Fairfax County border.
The Arlington County officer whose cruiser was stolen received medical treatment for non-life threatening injuries..
From the Virginia State Police press release on the incident:
At 11:58 a.m., Virginia State Police Trooper C.T. Grzelak responded to a male pedestrian on Interstate 66 in the eastbound lanes at the 46 mile marker in Prince William County. As the trooper stopped out with the man, an Arlington County Police Officer pulled up to assist. Upon being approached by law enforcement, the male subject became combative and began banging on the trooper’s patrol car. As the trooper and officer tried to take the subject into custody, the pedestrian struck the Arlington officer in the face and then fled the scene in the officer’s patrol car.
The trooper then pursued the fleeing suspect. The pursuit continued off I-66 and onto Route 29 before returning to I-66 headed westbound. At the 47 mile marker in Fairfax County, State Police and Prince William County Police were able to encircle and contain the suspect vehicle and force it onto the shoulder where it finally came to a stop.
The suspect then ran from the stolen vehicle and jumped into the bed of a pickup truck that was stopped in the westbound lanes of I-66 (westbound traffic had stopped as the pursuit was brought to a conclusion). The male subject grabbed a shovel and started swinging it at the troopers as they approached him. He finally complied with the troopers’ verbal commands to drop the shovel, but then jumped out of the back of the pickup truck and climbed over the cement Jersey wall.
In the left shoulder of the eastbound lanes of I-66, the male subject still refused to be taken into custody and fought the trooper and sergeant during the course of the apprehension. Both the trooper and sergeant suffered minor injuries.
The male suspect was transported by Prince William County Police to the Prince William County Adult Detention Center. Charges are pending at this time.
The Arlington County Police Officer was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
The North Rosslyn Civic Association (NRCA) opposes the decision to replace the existing escalators to the plaza level with a granite staircase. The county says the change is necessary to accommodate a Commuter Store that will be built on the ticketing level. The store essentially will be built under the current escalator area, which will not provide adequate access for performing maintenance on the escalators.
According to Lisa Maher, Development Plan Review Supervisor in the county’s Department of Environmental Services, staff pored over the plans for months trying to find a different place to put the store, but couldn’t locate an area that had the necessary amount of space.
In a letter to the county, NRCA said the two escalators — one up and one down — are “the only assistance provided to residents in negotiating the tremendous change in elevation between the center of Rosslyn and the adjacent community to the West.” The escalators are especially useful for Metro riders who have already made the excruciating climb up from the underground station and need a bit of a breather, residents said.
Maher says there’s been an ongoing conversation with residents in the area and attempts have been made to address concerns. However, the Commuter Store is still slated to go in, and the escalators are still slated be removed.
“The community said, let’s put it somewhere else in neighborhood,” Maher said. “But there’s just nowhere else to put it, and it’s most valuable when near the station.”
The Commuter Store is just one of the improvements that will be coming to the Rosslyn station. Since 2007, the county has been working with the developer constructing an office building adjacent to the Metro. As part of the permit approval, the developer agreed to provide renovations to the Metro entrance.
Some of the other improvements include providing an ADA accessible entrance on Ft. Myer Drive, adding more lighting to the station mezzanine, installing new tile flooring and renovating the existing skybridge.
On Saturday, portions of the agreement will come up for approval at the County Board meeting. The Board is expected to approve the measures, allowing the county manager to alter the number of public improvements the developer must provide.
Staff also recommends the Board approve the provision permitting the county to pay for a portion of the improvements if the cost exceeds the developer’s budget. The cost would be determined after the list of improvements is negotiated and finalized.
The Costa Verde restaurant near Clarendon is no more, and another tenant has quietly taken over the space. A restaurant called DARNA (946 N. Jackson Street) has apparently moved in, and it’s seeking a live entertainment permit from the county.
This location has had live entertainment permits dating back to 1994. According to the county staff report, when Costa Verde’s permit came up for review in February, it was discovered that the restaurant no longer existed. At that time, staff members learned that DARNA was looking at continuing the permit. The county zoning office confirmed that the new restaurant is not currently providing live entertainment.
DARNA requested to have entertainment and dancing from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., Wednesday through Sunday. But reviewers raised concerns about the hours, and the owner has agreed to modify the times to 8:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 8:00 p.m. to midnight on Wednesdays and Sundays.
The owner also has to agree not to play music outside, and to keep windows and doors shut to soundproof the structure. Security must be provided on nights when there is music and dancing.
Because police and neighbors haven’t expressed concern, county staff doesn’t anticipate trouble with the request. Reviewers recommend the County Board approves the permit request at its meeting on Saturday.
We have been unable to get in contact with the owner to get more details about the restaurant.
The forthcoming development on the Bergmann’s Cleaning site on Lee Highway — still in the planning stages — may include a MOM’s Organic Market, according to an email obtained by ARLnow.com.
The project has been evolving as developer McCaffrey Interests responds to neighborhood input and objections to the project. Whereas just a couple of months ago the project was to include a specialty grocery and 13,500 square feet of other retail, it now includes just the grocery store, with the retail replaced by 15 row houses along N. Veitch and N. Uhle Streets. The change is expected to reduce traffic around the development.
The project still includes a 10-story, 166-unit, LEED Gold-certified, glass-covered apartment building, complete with a fitness center and swimming pool on the penthouse level. The current plan, which will be discussed at a Site Plan Review Committee meeting at 7:00 tonight, also includes 222 spaces of surface and underground parking for residents and grocery store customers.
In an email to its members, the local North Highlands Civic Association said McCaffrey expects that a MOM’s Organic Market will move into the grocery store space once the project is completed. The store may also have some sort of cafe component, to make up for the lack of other retail within the development. County staff have previously expressed skepticism about a specialty grocery store at the site, saying the area is already well-served by Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.
MOM’s currently has a location in Alexandria and is expected to open a location in Falls Church, but the local chain does not have an Arlington presence yet.
As part of the development, McCaffrey has agreed to several community amenities, including improvements to nearby McCoy Park, a modification to the adjacent Custis Trail, and 8 on-site affordable apartments. McCaffrey Interests is responsible for a number of notable local developments, including Georgetown Centre in D.C. and Market Common Clarendon in Arlington.
The Gangs of Arlington — As of 2011 there were 10 active street gangs in Arlington. According to a speaker at a panel discussion held earlier this week, the gangs often try to recruit youths who have recently immigrated to the country. Arlington, however, has an extensive gang prevention program that limits the influence of gangs within the county. [Washington Examiner]
National Drug Take-Back Day — The Arlington County Police Department will be participating in National Drug Take-Back Day next weekend. From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, police will be collecting ”expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs” — no questions asked — in an effort to prevent possible abuse and theft. Collection stations will be set up at fire stations 1, 8 and 9. [Arlington County Police]
Earth Day Twitter Chat Today — The Arlington County Department of Environmental Services is hosting a live Twitter chat on the topic of “green gardening” from noon to 1:00 p.m. today. “Join us and get answers to all of your questions related to landscaping and lawn care, native plants, and water conservation,” the county said in an email. One participant who submits a question will be randomly selected to receive a free rain barrel. [Facebook, Twitter]