According to police, a juvenile female was using the restroom in a restaurant at the Ballston mall last night (Monday) when she saw an odd shadow on the ground. She reportedly looked up to see a man peeping over her stall. The girl reports the man then ducked into a stall, because she could see his feet as she left.
The girl, who is visiting from Ireland, left the restroom and told the 19-year-old woman and 22-year-old man she was with what had just happened. According to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, the woman and man then found the suspect and confronted him. He claimed to have been confused about which restroom he had been in.
Although it’s not certain that this is the same man who has been reported in two other indecent incidents recently, it appears there are similarities. He’s described as a white male in his 50s, with grayish-brownish hair to his shoulders. At the time of last night’s incident, he was described as wearing a light colored button down shirt over a darker colored shirt, with baggy blue jeans and black and white sneakers.
“He does have some similarities to the previous offender,” said Sternbeck. “If this is the same person, he’s been frequently engaging in crimes of this nature, whether exposures or peeping. We want to get him into custody immediately.”
As with the previous incidents, there was a lag between the time of the incident and reporting it to police. Police ask any victims or witnesses of these types of crimes to report them immediately to increase the chances of the suspect being caught. Confronting the suspect is not recommended because it’s unknown if he may try to inflict harm.
(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) The photo on the left is of Virginia Hardware at 2016 N. Moore Street, in the 1930s. The store opened at this location in 1924, when Rosslyn Circle still existed. For years, it was run by Harry Goldman, until the business was eventually passed down to his son.
The photo on the right shows what that part of Rosslyn looks like now. It’s the area that is now Rosslyn Gateway Park, across the street from where the new Rosslyn Gateway development is set to go in.
In 1963, Virginia Hardware moved from Rosslyn to 2915 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon, where it remained for decades. Goldman’s family ended up selling the business to long-time employee Rick Iglesias in 1998.
Virginia Hardware closed its doors for good in 2005. Iglesias said a variety of factors, including the high cost of running a small business, forced him to shut down. The Clarendon site is now home to Ri Ra.
Historic photo courtesy Arlington Public Library’s Virginia Room
(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) Arlington County Police are working leads to figure out who killed Tommy Kin Mo Wong during a deadly robbery at Capital Jewelers on Columbia Pike on Friday.
Authorities have responded to at least four calls over the past few days regarding men spotted around Arlington who fit the description of the suspect and were wearing yellow vests. One such report prompted police to detain and question a man yesterday, as seen in the courtesy photo on the left. It happened around the same time and vicinity as an SUV running into Bangkok 54 on Columbia Pike, but the two incidents were not related. Police determined the man was not the robbery suspect from Friday, and released him at the scene.
Meanwhile, there’s been some speculation by local TV stations that the Columbia Pike robbery may be linked to a similar armed robbery in the District last month. As seen in video run on NBC 4, the gunman in the surveillance video from the June 9 jewelry store robbery in Northwest D.C. is also seen wearing a reflective yellow vest. Police say the two departments are sharing information about the robberies.
“Our detectives have been interviewing the victim in the D.C. incident as well,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “We’re trying to see if there’s any possible connection between the two incidents.”
Anyone with information concerning the deadly robbery or the identity of the suspect is asked to contact Detective Richard Conigliaro at 703-228-4193 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information can also be reported anonymously by contacting the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).
“Bob Duffy has a long and varied career in local government planning and leadership positions,” said Robert E. Brosnan, director of Arlington’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development. “He is exactly what the Planning Department needs right now as we move into implementation for some of our major planning projects to create more affordable housing and continue our smart growth, transit-oriented development.”
Duffy was most recently a planning supervisor with the Prince George’s County Planning Department. Previously, he was Director of Planning and Community Development for the Town of Brookline, Massachusetts; Assistant Director of the Louisville Development Authority and Downtown Development Corporation; Town Planning and Development Administrator for the Town of Southampton, New York; and the Director of Planning for the City of Sanibel, Florida.
“I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to serve the citizens of Arlington County,” said Duffy. “I look forward to leading our planning staff and working with Arlington residents and businesses, Planning Commission members, the County Manager and County Board Members to further advance Arlington’s nationally recognized commitment to community-based planning, smart growth and active civic engagement.”
Duffy fills a position that had been open since Peter Katz resigned in March, after less than five months on the job. Duffy will start in September.
In a press release, the county gave the following details about Duffy’s experience:
Duffy has managed and facilitated a number of award-winning planning projects such as the Central Annapolis Road Sector Plan, which transformed an auto-oriented corridor into a “complete street” with a transit village as part of the planned Purple Line light rail transit project. The project has been recognized by the American Architectural Foundation External link and featured in the recently published “Living Streets: Strategies for Crafting Public Space”.
Duffy provided leadership on the planning study of Brookline, Massachusetts. The Comprehensive Plan 2005 – 2015 External link focused on future growth within Brookline’s transit corridors and establishes neighborhood conservation, affordable housing, and business district improvement strategies. The plan won 2006 Outstanding Planning Award from the American Planning Association, Massachusetts Chapter.
He also led planning and improvement efforts that contributed to the transformation of the historic, but deteriorated West Main Street in downtown Louisville, Kentucky External link into a “vibrant commercial, residential, retail, cultural, and entertainment district. The West Main Street Cultural Arts District was recognized by the American Planning Association in 2008 as one of America’s “Great Streets”.
Duffy currently serves as a Technical Advisory Panel Committee member for the Washington District Council of the Urban Land institute (ULI), and a board member for the American Planning Association’s (APA) National Capital Area Chapter. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Parker-Gray Historic District Architectural Review Board in Alexandria.
He has a bachelor’s degree in Planning from the University of Cincinnati. His start date is Sept. 10, 2012. Duffy and his wife Adele Cramer currently reside in Alexandria. They enjoy hiking, cycling and kayaking.
The fair begins on Wednesday, August 8, and runs through Sunday, August 12. The theme for this year is “Live Green, Learn Green.”
Official opening ceremonies for the fair take place on Thursday, August 9th, at 6:30 p.m. Entertainment begins at 6:00 p.m. with a performance by the U.S. Army Brass Quintet, followed by the program at 6:30 p.m., with a joint presentation of Colors by the U.S. Army Color Guard and Arlington County Color Guard. The program will include remarks from a County Board member and the Arlington County Fair’s Board of Directors.
Other events include the crowd favorite racing piglets, pony rides for the kids and performances by the Harlem Wizards basketball players. Friday night (August 10) there will be an outdoor showing of the family friendly movie “The Muppets.” Another outdoor movie aimed at teens will be shown on Saturday night (August 10), but that movie has yet to be announced.
There will be a new outdoor stage this year, showcasing local entertainers such as a magician and performers from the Synetic Theater. As always, there will be plenty of fair food, games and rides outdoors and exhibitors indoors.
The fair will be held at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center (3501 S. 2nd Street). There is no parking on site, except for handicapped spaces, and nearby streets will be closed to non-local traffic. There will be shuttles running every 30 minutes from the Ballston Metro, the Arlington Career Center (816 S. Walter Reed Drive) and the I-66 parking garage (near Washington-Lee High School). The shuttle fee is $2 round trip, and free for anyone 12 and under or 65 and older.
Volunteers are still needed for helping with various tasks at the fair. Applications can be filled out online.
More information is available on the fair website.
(Updated at 10:05 a.m.) The Karamara Ethiopian restaurant (3205 Columbia Pike), set for a late-August grand opening, is about 10 years in the making.
Owner Selamawit Belete emigrated from Ethiopia to the U.S. a decade ago. Establishing a restaurant, such as the one her family owned in Ethiopia, was always in the back of her mind.
She’ll have plenty of competition.
The nearby Dama Cafe has earned praise as one of the Washington area’s best Ethiopian eateries. Then there’s Harar Mesob at 542 S. 23rd Street in Crystal City and Meaza just over the Fairfax County line at 5700 Columbia Pike.
Karamara had a soft-opening last Wednesday and will be open with an abbreviated menu until Belete can get her liquor permit approved. She expects that process to take a few more weeks.
Dark Star Park Day Tomorrow — Tomorrow morning Rosslyn will celebrate “Dark Star Park Day.” At precisely 9:32 a.m. on August 1 of each year, the shadows cast by the stone spheres and iron poles in Dark Star Park (1655 N. Ft. Myer Drive) line up with the permanently-installed artistic images of shadows on the ground. Tomorrow’s event will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will include a photo contest. [Rosslyn BID]
Record Contributions to Affordable Housing Fund — Arlington County’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) saw a record $10.4 million in loan repayments and developer contributions in Fiscal Year 2012. The AHIF, which is used to help fund affordable housing projects, is set to receive $9.5 million in tax dollars in FY 2013, in addition to any repayments and contributions. [Arlington County]
County Looks for Investment Consultant — Arlington is looking for an investment professional to consult on private investments for its $1.5 billion Arlington County Employees’ Retirement System. The retirement fund is reportedly looking to invest $100 to $200 million in private equity. [Pensions & Investments]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
(Updated at 6:20 p.m.) An out-of-control SUV struck the front of Bangkok 54 restaurant (2919 Columbia Pike) this afternoon.
The crash happened around 3:45 p.m. Damage to the building appeared to be relatively minor and confined to the front facade of the eatery. The vehicle also nicked a street tree before coming to rest between Bangkok 54 and Maruko Japanese Restaurant. A box of beer could be seen in the back of the SUV.
The driver tried to run once police arrived on scene, we’re told. He hopped a fence behind the nearby McDonald’s restaurant but was tased by police and apprehended a block or two away.
The man, who was the only occupant of the vehicle, was evaluated for minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital, where he will undergo drug and alcohol testing, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. No other injuries were reported.
Police are investigating whether the vehicle might have been stolen or used without authorization.
“I write this piece as a warning to men in the D.C. metro area because I don’t want them making the same mistakes I did,” he writes.
“I thought you’d be interested in learning what’s it is like from the side of the john being arrested in Arlington,” he told ARLnow.com. “I hope I also give you some insight into why some people do this sort of thing. I figure since they make it a very public and embarrassing crime I might as well roll with it and own it.”
The man explains that johns arrested in Virginia don’t remain anonymous in the eyes of the law; the state’s practice of making public the names of those arrested has his identity scattered across the internet. Now, those who search his name for any purpose will see his arrest.
“I’m going to have to answer for what I’ve done to anyone and everyone for the rest of my life. I wear a scarlet letter now,” he writes. “It’s almost like you’re a sex offender, never mind that what you’ve done is a misdemeanor. They make [it] feel much worse; like it’s a felony.”
In the following excerpt from the man’s blog post about his experience with prostitution, he explains what happened during his arrest:
I was leaving the hotel where I had just met my latest “friend” and was trying to justify the cost in my mind as I walked down a busy street bustling with nightlife. I was oblivious to my surroundings and I never saw my judge, jury and executioners coming. They appeared out of nowhere. The next thing I felt was the coldness of the glass window as I was forced up against it and then the tightness of the handcuffs as they were snapped into place on my wrists. It was open season on Mr. John. I was visible to everyone. Had anyone I knew seen me I don’t know what I would’ve done afterwards to myself. I thought to myself that I rightfully deserved my fate and I am readily willing to admit it.
They were watching us Johns the whole time. As we went in an out of the rooms. In the end they got a whole bunch of us along with the escorts. It was a reverse prostitution sting without the female officer. They used the escorts that were there as the bait. I honestly should have turned back the minute I saw a police car in the parking lot leaving hurriedly, probably thinking that I spotted them or on their way to bust another John. But I wanted what I wanted and I paid the price. Even now when I walk past that hotel I look to see if they are staking the place out. I sometimes will see a police car parked there waiting for its prey. I then think about the poor fool who is about to be caught. Of course they use unmarked vehicles as well. If you see people standing around in a parking lot in plainclothes that’s them. All of this was being done the night I was caught, they actually didn’t come out of nowhere and I was stupid not to see the signs and know that they’re always watching.
I cooperated fully with the officers and told them everything they wanted to know. They spoke to me about the perils of prostitution. Besides the danger of STD’s (and yes I use protection) and the physical danger that these women are putting themselves into; I could also be robbed. They relayed to me some of the horror stories they’ve been subject to. While I too have read some of these stories online, having a police officer tell it to you in person really wakes you up to the reality.
So I appreciate what the police are doing and I know that I was wrong. All I’m saying is I’ll never do it again–not so long as I’m in a place where it’s illegal. The pain I’ve put myself through is not worth it. Now every time I’m walking and hear a car screech I flinch thinking it’s a cop coming for me.
The man closes his piece with a straightforward warning to others: “Don’t turn into me.”
Police have released surveillance video they hope will help lead to the arrests of suspects from last week’s check cashing store robbery in the 4700 block of Columbia Pike.
According to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, the two men confronted an employee as she was approaching the store to begin her shift last Wednesday (July 25). One held a gun to her head, the other a knife to her neck. They forced her to open the safe and made off with its contents, which was nearly $40,000.
The suspects are both described as Hispanic men between 5’8″ and 5’10″ with medium builds.
Anyone who has information about the suspects or the crime is asked to contact Detective Robert Wright at 703-228-4197 or email@example.com. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).
In one week, Ballston will be home to a new beer establishment. World of Beer (901 N. Glebe Road) is making its final preparations for opening next Monday (August 6).
Owner Evan Matz and his wife recently moved to Arlington from Florida. He enjoys the area and thought it would be the perfect place to launch Virginia’s first location for the Florida chain.
“I love Arlington. I think it’s a great area,” said Matz. “World of Beer looks forward to being Ballston’s neighborhood social scene, while being dedicated to the beer enthusiast.”
The coolers are stocked, thanks to a beer shipment that arrived last Friday. Later this week, kegs and tap handles will be delivered. In all, there will be more than 500 beers, with 50 rotating taps. New selections will come a couple of times every week.
Bartenders have to go through extensive training to become familiar with all the different types of beers. They should be able to give customers suggestions based on individual tastes, as well as giving the history of some of the more unique brews. Matz says the focus on the beer will make his place different from all the others in the area.
“We’re an upscale neighborhood sports craft beer bar,” he said. “Other restaurants will have a good selection of beer, but we are a place that has a phenomenal selection of beer, that happens to have food.”
Traditionally, World of Beer establishments don’t serve food, but this location will in order to comply with state law. The limited menu will feature gourmet sausages, small bites such as soft pretzels, and beer-infused desserts. There’s been a unique partnership set up to allow customers to order from other restaurants and have the food delivered inside World of Beer. Matz said with the offerings both from his menu and those of Vapiano, BGR The Burger Joint and P.F. Chang’s, customers will have plenty of variety when it comes to dining options.
Inside, sports fans can catch the games on the TVs throughout the establishment, and there will be free live entertainment on Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Those who want to get some fresh air can take advantage the outdoor seating. Happy hour will take place on weeknights, along with different daily specials such as trivia night or service industry night.
Because it reached its goal of 1,000 Facebook fans and 500 Twitter followers, World of Beer is holding a special pre-grand opening party for all the fans and followers on August 6. Social media followers or not, Matz invites everyone with a passion for good beer to stop by.
“We’re giving Ballston and Arlington a place where people can come and enjoy better tasting, better quality beer,” said Matz. “We want to make sure that everybody enjoys the music, the entertainment, just the laid back atmosphere of World of Beer.”
Greg Emanuel has been named to the position, effective as of August 13. He will replace William F. O’Connor, who has held the position since October 2010, and is retiring from the county this month. Emanuel had served as the department’s deputy director since March.
“I am very pleased to have Greg join my Executive Leadership Team,” said Donnellan. “He has a proven track record of results, and a tremendous dedication and passion for our workforce and our community.”
Emanuel will be earning a salary of about $168,000 per year, according to Arlington County Human Resources Director Marcy Foster. That’s slightly less than O’Connor’s annual salary.
The department, which has more than 700 employees, manages the county’s infrastructure, transportation, the environment and capital investment.
In a press release, the county listed more of Emanuel’s experience and accomplishments:
During his time with the County, Mr. Emanuel led the effort for several major capital construction projects including Fire Station #3 on Lee Highway, Arlington Mill Community Center on Columbia Pike, Fire Station #5 in Aurora Hills, and Shirlington Library/Signature Theater. He also played an important role in partnering with the Department of Management and Finance on the development of three Capital Improvement Plans, each time increasing the scope, focus, and detail to demonstrate the full range and strategy of the County’s ambitious capital programs.
Prior to his experience with the County, Mr. Emanuel served 21 years with the U.S. Air Force, where he held a variety of engineering leadership positions around the world. While there, he managed multi-year capital improvement and redevelopment plans, significant construction projects and new initiatives while balancing political, cultural, regulatory and financial challenges.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master’s of Civil Engineering in Construction Management from North Carolina State University. He is a registered professional engineer and a member of the Society of American Military Engineers and the American Public Works Association.
Mr. Emanuel, a fitness, cycling and swimming enthusiast, resides in Arlington with his wife and three children.
Dog Paws ‘n Cat Claws dog daycare (940 S. George Mason Drive) is moving out of Arlington.
The move, to a bigger space at 5818 Seminary Road in Falls Church, will allow the five-year-old business to serve as a dedicated pet adoption center, says owner Ryan Folcher.
The current space, just off of Columbia Pike, allows only for standalone pet adoption events, said Folcher, who also cited concerns about Arlington County’s move away from the type of light industrial zoning his business uses.
“We want to kind of reconstruct the building. But I don’t have the money or time to do that and risk that Arlington just says, ‘No, we’re not going to approve it,’” Folcher said. “The only thing that is zoned for Arlington is high-rise apartments and condos. I was interested in staying but my business model really can’t adopt. Financially, I just need to let the business evolve and that’s not where it’s going to happen.”
Daycare manager Lisa Niel said the current space holds between 50 and 60 dogs a day. Folcher and another employee showed off the new 7,400-square-foot daycare and retail store to clients in an open house on Sunday.
“We’ve already heard feedback from clients dropping off dogs that they love the new space,” Niel said. “We think it will broaden our client base into Alexandria, Bailey’s Crossroads and Fairfax.”
Folcher also cited Arlington County signage restrictions as an issue. Last year, the county told him he could not post temporary signage advertising holiday sales.
He hopes to have the new location ready to open by late August.
(Updated at 6:10 p.m.) Volunteers are needed for a variety of opportunities throughout Arlington, such as citizenship teachers and youth soccer coaches. More information about the opportunities listed below, in addition to a list of others, can be found online.
- The Arlington Soccer Association (ASA) seeks people who would like to volunteer as soccer coaches and assistant coaches for the fall season. Volunteers must enjoy working with kids ages 6-16. Soccer experience is helpful but not required. Coaches will be given training, and all necessary equipment is provided by ASA. Coaches must be available for games, typically on Saturdays, and for one or two practices per week on weeknights. Applicants can contact Justin Wilt at 703-527-0157.
- The Community Outreach Program is looking for volunteers to be citizenship class teachers. There’s no need to be a certified teacher, the instructors come from all different backgrounds and professions. Volunteers must just be able to go through an orientation class and use materials they are given to teach immigrants the information necessary to pass the U.S. citizenship exam. There’s particular need for an instructor on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 S. Old Glebe Road). There are also some positions open for weekday classes from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Clarendon Education Center (2801 Clarendon Blvd). Although it’s preferred that volunteers commit to at least three months, those who can’t make the full commitment are welcome to apply for substitute positions. Anyone interested in applying can contact Aaron McCready at 703-228-1397.
- The Department of Parks and Recreation needs volunteers to help children with disabilities learn to swim. Trained staff members will lead the classes and volunteers will be in the pool to offer assistance and encouragement to participants. Experience working with individuals with disabilities is a plus, but not required. Volunteers should be comfortable in the water and able to swim, and should be able to attend four sessions throughout the year (one for each season). The sessions will take place at the pool adjacent to Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Blvd). Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Shaeron King at 703-228-4731.
Family Remembers Homicide Victim — As Arlington police search for the man who killed a Columbia Pike jewelry shop owner on Friday, the family of the victim is speaking out. The victim’s daughter said her dad, 52-year-old Tommy Wong of Herndon, had owned Capital Jewelers at 3219 Columbia Pike for the past 5 years. “I just want to know why didn’t he take what he needed and leave my dad alone,” she said tearfully in a TV interview. [WUSA 9]
Tobacco Use Down Among Arlington Youth – Arlington youths are using less tobacco but are using more marijuana, according to the latest survey by the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families. The survey results point to a continuation of a decade-long trend of declining tobacco use and increasing marijuana use among Arlington youth. [Sun Gazette]
Obituary for Local Business Leader – An obituary has been published for Syd Albrittain, the chief executive of local developer Dittmar Co., who died at the age of 82 last month. In addition to helping Arlington achieve its vision for transit-oriented development, Albrittain gave millions to local organizations like Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School, the Catholic Archdiocese of Arlington, Virginia Hospital Center and the Arlington Free Clinic. [Washington Post]