In response to a controversial mixed use development proposed for Wilson Boulevard, a number of Bluemont residents have banded together to form the “Safeway Task Force,” and will be holding a public meeting tomorrow.
The group is made up of members of the Bluemont Civic Association and aims to educate community members about the proposed development. Members say they want to ensure that the Bluemont community is able to help shape future changes at the Safeway site at 5101 Wilson Blvd.
Earlier this year, Safeway began soliciting bids from developers who may be interested in building a new grocery store, with residential property above it. The building would take up the entire block of Wilson Blvd from N. Frederick Street to N. Edison Street.
Last year, attendees at a Bluemont Civic Association meeting confronted County Board Chair Mary Hynes about the development. A number of residents voiced concerns about increased density along the stretch of Wilson Blvd in question, and also worried about how small businesses would fare.
The task force will be hosting a town hall meeting on Tuesday, July 10 (tomorrow), which is open to the public. It will be held at St. Ann’s Church (5300 N. 10th Street), starting at 7:00 p.m. Members of the county Planning Commission will be on hand to speak about issues related to the proposed development, such as zoning and by-right policies, and will answer residents’ questions.
In the coming months, the task force hopes to meet with Safeway representatives to discuss plans for the future. The task force’s charter states it plans to wrap up work by November 1, at which time it will be decided if it is needed any longer.
Photo (bottom) via Google Maps
We hear that lightning from last night’s storms most likely sparked the fires, though as of this afternoon an Arlington County Fire Department spokesman was unable to confirm any details about the cause.
ACFD spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl did reveal, however, that there was “significant damage to both attic areas.”
Photo courtesy @VolunteerHappy
Lobo worked for the ACPD beginning in 2004, and retired this past spring. Lobo had worked as a patrol dog and as an Explosive Ordinance Detection K-9, with his partner Corporal Tom Binckley. He successfully certified with the United States Police Canine Association in those two disciplines, and had been used as a tracker on numerous occasions.
During his seven years of service, Lobo also worked to keep Arlington residents safe at special events, such as the Arlington County Fair (pictured above). He was described as a social dog who enjoyed putting on demonstrations for civic and youth groups.
We’re told all of the ACPD members who had worked with Lobo were saddened to hear of his passing on Friday night.
An oak tree that has, for centuries, towered over what is now the Westover neighborhood is being cut down today.
The derecho on June 29 irreparably damaged the historic Post Oak, a majestic 93-foot tall tree that likely dates back to the mid-to-late 1700s. The county decided that the tree, believed to be the oldest in Arlington, had to be removed for the safety of residents.
“What’s remaining is really only about a third of the tree. It had several large trunks coming out of the main trunk, and two of those were broken off,” said Jamie Bartalon with the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation. “As a result, the remaining trunk has quite a bit of decay and the tree is no longer balanced. It could potentially fall.”
Contractors are spending the day cutting down the tree — on the 5800 block of 11th Street N. — in sections. Parts of it will be salvaged instead of being used for mulch. The county is still trying to figure out exactly what to do with the saved portions.
Although the tree’s exact age is unclear, it’s believed to have been around since the 1700s. That would make it not only the oldest tree in Arlington, but also perhaps one of the oldest in the state. Rings will be counted from salvaged sections of the 18-inch circumference trunk to determine exactly how old the tree was.
The Post Oak was designated as a protected “Specimen Tree” by the County Board in 2008.
Bartalon said part of what made it noteworthy besides the age was its height, considering those types of trees are slow growing and typically don’t exceed 50 feet.
The tree should be removed down to the stump by this evening.
(Updated at 12:40 p.m.) The good news about power outages in Arlington is that all of those stemming from the June 29 storm have been fixed. The bad news is crews had to deal with some new outages this morning, brought on by the storms that passed through Sunday night.
The Dominion outage website showed around 100 customers without power as of 8:00 a.m., but those now appear to have been fixed.
Verizon, meanwhile, reports significant progress on restoring service to its TV, internet and phone customers who were affected by the June 29 storm. A Verizon spokesman said technicians worked extended shifts over the weekend and service levels are nearly back to a normal level today.
Crews are now working to restore service to “several hundred customers in areas technicians could not previously reach due to downed power lines,” according to Verizon.
“I’m extremely proud of our team, which has worked 12 hours-plus daily in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees to bring service back for our customers,” said Chris Childs, Verizon’s Potomac region president of consumer and mass-business markets. “I’m extremely grateful to our customers, who have been overwhelmingly gracious, patient and understanding throughout this process. We will keep going until we’ve fully restored service for all those affected by this harsh weather.”
As of this morning, Verizon field crews were responding to a total of 163 downed utility poles and 602 downed copper or fiber cables throughout the D.C. region. Damage assessments are still underway following Sunday’s storms; there’s no word on exactly how many customers were affected.
Flickr pool photo by ddimick
‘R.U.X. (Rockwell’s Universal seXbots)‘ debuted last year during a fundraising event at the Ballston Mall. It tells the story of a man’s desire to revamp his father’s company with a new business plan — selling sex robots. The playwright, Maurice Martin, is a 20-year resident of Arlington. The show, which is not recommended for children, premieres at Fringe on Friday, July 13.
The director of ‘Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s a Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ along with most of the cast and crew, hails from Arlington. The show is a punk rock interpretation of a Shakespeare classic. It begins on Friday, July 13, and is recommended for ages 13 and up.
‘The Hair Chronicles‘ debuts on Saturday, July 14. The three playwrights — Nileah Bell, Mary Nyingi and Michelle Whittaker — live in Arlington and used Marymount University as the setting. The performance focuses on three women searching for graduate paper topics, who discover they share issues with their hair. The show is recommended for ages 13 and up.
Another group of local performers is made up entirely of teens. ‘Mindset’ premiered in March, and was created by students at H-B Woodlawn. It’s described as a “surrealist rock opera,” and is recommended for ages 13 and up. The 35 cast and crew members in Mindset begin their Fringe run on Saturday, July 14.
All of the shows in the Capital Fringe Festival are original works created and produced by the artists, and are performed at 15 different venues throughout D.C. The festival runs through July 29, and a full list of performances can be found online. Tickets, which are all $17, plus a one time charge for a $5 Fringe button, are also available online.
Although Sunday’s storms didn’t cause the widespread damage Arlington experienced from the June 29 “derecho” storm, the effects are still being felt in parts of the county.
Long Bridge Drive between S. 12th Street and I-395 is completely closed due to flooding. The parking lot at Long Bridge Park is also blocked.
A county public works crew is on the scene dealing with the high water.
Drivers are advised to avoid any flooded areas they may encounter. Do not to attempt to maneuver through standing water, because it could be much higher than it initially appears.
Plane at DCA Sinks into Tarmac — It was so hot Friday that a US Airways flight got stuck in some heat-softened pavement while taxi-ing to the runway. [Washington Post]
Vote Set on Pike Streetcar Plan — On July 21 the Arlington County Board is scheduled to vote on whether to proceed with plans to build a streetcar or add enhanced bus service along Columbia Pike. The Board is expected to formally sanction the streetcar plan, then apply for federal funding. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Living Wage Increased — Arlington County has raised its minimum salary for contracted employees to $13.13 an hour, up from $12.75. The increase puts Arlington in line with Fairfax and Alexandria, both of which pay a $13.13 living wage. [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Resident Wins on Jeopardy — Arlington resident Stephanie Fontaine racked up two back-to-back wins on the televised game show “Jeopardy!” last week. She’ll try to make it 3-for-3 on the show tonight. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA