Captain Andy Penn, Officer Garrett Bombard, Sergeant Eliseo Pilco, Officer Ben Brown-Bieber and Deputy Andrew Flowers received the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Northern Virginia Chapter 2012 Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) award. They received the awards, which include a plaque and a $500 donation to the Department of Human Services to fund ongoing CIT training, at a banquet on June 7.
“Our department fully supports the CIT training initiative and our goal is to continue to increase the number of officers certified by offering several training opportunities each year,” said Arlington Police Chief M. Douglas Scott.
Since its inception in 2008, Arlington’s CIT program has trained more than 175 law enforcement personnel. Officers voluntarily sign up for the program and receive 40 hours of training, during which they learn to de-escalate difficult and potentially dangerous situations with an individual who has a mental illness.
Through the training, officers learn skills such as reducing injuries, and preventing inappropriate restraint and incarceration of a troubled individual. They also help to link individuals with mental illness to resources for receiving appropriate treatment.
CIT Coordinator Christina Clarkson was able to explain a type of situation similar to those the five officers received awards for. A man had been threatening himself and his family after having an adverse reaction to a new medication. He had been hallucinating, hearing voices and locked himself in the bathroom. Two officers used their CIT training to talk to the man and calm him down enough so he came out of the bathroom on his own, and checked into a mental health facility.
Information could not be provided about the specific incidents the five officers received the awards for.
Casal’s de Spa and Salon (3033 Wilson Blvd) prides itself on customer service and focusing on providing each client with a pleasant experience. General Manager of Operations Jeannie Shimek said Casal’s, which is an Aveda concept salon, offers great attention to each customer due to its smaller atmosphere.
Shimek said one thing that sets Casal’s apart from all the other salons and spas in the area is the complimentary services. With every treatment, customers are treated to freebies like a mini facial or a hand and arm massage.
She also stressed that it’s a non-tipping salon. It was a move that all the staff got behind after it began about 15 years ago, in an effort to highlight that the staff is made up of skilled professionals.
“The owner wanted to raise the level of professionalism in the industry,” Shimek said. “These are all professionals who don’t need a tip. If you want to tip, you can refer a friend.”
Although Casal’s is a small Ohio based chain, co-owner Thom Ciarniello lived in the D.C. area for more than 15 years after college, and worked in salons here. He’s recently been splitting his time between Ohio and Arlington, where his sister also lives. Ciarniello has been wanting to get back to the area, and eventually plans to retire here.
Ciarniello is also an artist, so he likes to incorporate fine art into the salon space. We’re told some people passing by on the street actually have been drawn into the salon by spotting the art.
Casal’s plans to hold an official grand opening celebration in September. Ciarniello and co-owner William McCauley wanted to wait until after the summer travel season slowed down, so more people would be able to attend the event. Details will be released as the grand opening draws closer.
Although still structurally sound, the 51-year-old bridge is apparently the most deteriorated of the 25 throughout the county. The new bridge will be improved structurally, and widened to increase safety, particularly for bikers and pedestrians.
Currently, the entire bridge is 65 feet wide. The bridge widening proposal suggests increasing that to 69 feet. Under the plan, the existing sidewalk, which is five feet wide, would become eight feet wide, and a five foot bike lane would be added. The four lanes of vehicle traffic would remain, but there would no longer be a center median.
Ritch Viola, a transportation planning supervisor with Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services, said the bridge replacement is part of a larger overall project to change the nature of Carlin Springs Road. Over the next few years, there will be a series of improvements stretching to Glebe Road. The addition of elements such as curb extensions and wider sidewalks is aimed at improving safety on the road.
“We’re trying to manage some of the speed that’s out there now, as well as provide facilities for bikes and pedestrians,” Viola said.
Although the county will deal with the architectural logistics of replacing the bridge, residents are asked to give feedback on the aesthetic aspects. The online survey for the designs is available through July 11. Once suggestions are sifted through and a final proposal is devised, the county needs to get approval from VDOT, which is funding the project.
There will be a public meeting about the concept sketches next Tuesday, June 26, which will include presentations and an opportunity for public comments. It will be held in room 104 of the Lubber Run Community Center (300 N. Park Drive), at 7:00 p.m.
County staff expect construction on the project to begin late this year or early next year. Efforts will be made to maintain access across the bridge during construction, which is expected to last about a year.
A developer, Open Plans, is working with Arlington and Washington, D.C. to devise the free bike map web and smartphone app. When finished, it will provide point-to-point directions like other trip planning apps do, but will be specifically catered to bike routes instead of motor vehicle routes. The map will also include locations of Capital Bikeshare stations, along with real time availability of bikes at each station.
Right now, developers have a preliminary version running, but it’s not yet available to the public. On Thursday, June 21, representatives from all the involved groups will gather for a work session to further tweak the app. They’re trying to ensure the map shows all bike restrictions and hazards, to help users plan safe, legal trips.
One main goal for the work session is to fill in some of the bike-centric missing links. For example, developers want to add any special cut-throughs or one-way streets that bikers should know about.
“When you have a map that’s already designed, it often doesn’t capture all the little intricacies of getting around by bike,” said Chris Eatough of BikeArlington. “So to know those intricacies, it’s good to contact people who bike a lot.”
Once the app goes public, there will be a section for users to add their own suggestions for corrections or additions to the map.
BikeArlington has been instrumental in providing input for the bike route mapping project, due in large part to all the information it has gathered over the years for its paper maps. Eatough believes the new app will provide a convenient supplement to the paper maps, which are sent out twice per year. He noted that despite the convenience of being able to pull up the app while actually out biking, riders need to remember basic safety.
“Obviously, checking the app will be recommended when not actually rolling on a bike,” Eatough said. “To check a route, do pull over and then check.”
Another item that should be cleared up at the work session is what the final name for the site will be. There’s been talk about whether it should be cibi.me, like the version Open Plans developed for New York, or if this area should get its own name.
If all goes well at Thursday’s work session, developers believe the app could be operational as early as next week.
Rep. Jim Moran (D) visited the Phoenix House at 521 N. Quincy Street last week to highlight the nonprofit’s addiction recovery and job training work.
The Ballston-area facility is one of numerous Phoenix House-branded treatment centers in 10 states across the country. It offers intensive residential substance abuse treatment programs for men, women, and teens, along with counseling and job training programs. The facility serves more than 900 adolescents and adults annually, and more than 150 on any given day.
Last Wednesday, Moran toured the Phoenix House and talked with some of the individuals who have been utilizing its services. Moran said their battles with addiction, and their struggles finding jobs after recovery, demonstrate why programs like Phoenix House are important for society.
“That’s why I’m here, to make the case for why we should support programs like Phoenix House,” Moran said. “We have to show people this this works, and then we need to replicate it across the country.”
Moran said he was struck by how one bad life decision could eventually lead down a path to addiction.
“There but for the grace of God go I,” he told the small assembled group of treatment center clients.
According to statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse cited by Moran, every dollar invested in an addiction treatment program yields a return of between $4 and $7 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft. When health care costs are added in, the savings can exceed 12 to 1, according to Moran’s office.
Moran, who directed $250,000 in federal funding for a vocational training program at Phoenix House in fiscal year 2010, promised to work to help get more funding — even though, he said, securing such funding has become more difficult as a result of the defacto ban on earmarks in the House of Representatives.
Moran’s visit was part of his event series, “Investing in Northern Virginia: Building our Community through Smart Federal Spending.”
Military training exercises will be taking place at the National Guard center throughout the day. As part of the drill, residents — especially those in the Barcroft and Alcova Heights neighborhoods – may notice a helicopter landing and taking off in the field at Arlington Hall West Park around 11:00 a.m. and again at 3:25 p.m. Park visitors are advised to avoid the area around these times.
Police officers and firefighters will be in the area to provide assistance as necessary. There are no traffic disruptions or noises expected during the training exercise, other than the helicopter, we’re told.
“Route 50 in Illinois” in Arlington — Why does Route 50/Arlington Boulevard show up in Google Maps as “Route 50 in Illinois?” That’s unclear — but it turns out the mis-labeling problem in Google Maps is not limited to Arlington. [Yurasko.net]
Latest Salvo in Buses vs. Streetcar Fight — Greater Greater Washington’s Ryan Arnold weighs in on the argument that articulated buses are a better alternative to streetcars on Columbia Pike: “Articulated buses are appropriate in many places, but they are not the same as streetcars. They don’t accomplish the same goals, and are not merely a less-expensive substitute.” Arnold says a streetcar will “accomplish the planning goals set out by the county and approved by its voters” in a way that buses cannot. [Greater Greater Washington]
Hidden Rosslyn Restaurant Serves Pho — Delightful Food Court, a semi-hidden restaurant at 1911 N. Fort Myer Drive most often frequented by local office workers, now serves pho and bahn mi sandwiches. [Rosslyn Blog]