One or more suspects broke into a locked house on the 5500 block of 7th Street S., in the Forest Glen neighborhood, at some point on Sunday. According to police, the suspects played beer pong while inside the house. They then allegedly stole two cars parked outside, leaving the residence “in disarray” with empty beer bottles strewn about.
The crime was reported Sunday afternoon by an adult female house sitter – a friend of the family that owns the house and the vehicles, according to police.
There is no suspect description available.
The store — which sells Microsoft products like software, gaming devices and phones — is officially opening at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 9. A grand opening ceremony that morning will be followed up with a Microsoft Kinect demonstration by Washington Wizards point guard John Wall at 6:00 p.m., and with an even grander event on Saturday, August 11, featuring a performance by the band Weezer.
The concert will take place at
the mall Warner Theater at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 11, according to a company rep.
In addition to the rock concert and basketball star, Microsoft will be donating $1 million in software to “local organizations that help create opportunities for local youth” at the grand opening.
There are 20 Microsoft Stores across the country, with another 10 that are listed as “opening soon.” According to a press release, the Microsoft Store offers the following:
- “A curated assortment of products, including Windows 7 PCs, Windows Phones, Kinect for Xbox 360, Office 2010 and more.”
- “A range of tech trainings, business-ready PCs, phones and more.”
- “Community organizations are regularly hosted in the theater space and the employees are out in the community supporting local causes.”
- “Through a partnership with Skinit, customers can show off their personal style and design their own lids and skins for laptops, phones and Xbox.”
The Arlington County Board approved a 10-year, $2.4 billion Capital Improvement Program (CIP) at its meeting on Saturday (July 21). The money will go toward a variety of projects ranging from building new schools to a new aquatics center to investing in streetcar plans.
“This CIP is both a financially sustainable plan that strikes a balance between maintaining our existing infrastructure and making strategic investments that will meet the needs of our growing community, and a vision for the future,” said County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “Our sound, forward-looking financial plan will help maintain the County’s triple-Aaa bond ratings.”
One area receiving a funding boost is infrastructure, including nearly $13.2 million for repaving many of the county’s roads. While residents report being pleased overall with the county’s services, according to the 2012 Resident Satisfaction Survey, street maintenance is a category listed as needing much improvement.
“Our streets, parks, facilities, water system and technology all need on-going maintenance and upgrades if we are to continue to provide the high-quality services that our community expects and that attract employers and visitors to Arlington,” Hynes said.
The bulk of the CIP is funded through general obligation bonds, which will be put to voters on the November 6 ballot. There will be four referenda totaling more than $153 million, in the categories of Metro and Transportation, Local Parks and Recreation, Community Infrastructure and Arlington Public Schools.
A significant portion of the allotted money in the parks referendum – $42.5 million – would go toward the construction of an aquatics facility at Long Bridge Park.
The Columbia Pike streetcar would also get funding under the CIP, pending tonight’s County Board vote on approving the streetcar plan. Because the bulk for the $250 million streetcar project would be funded through means other than bonds, it is not included in a referendum. Arlington will be responsible for 80 percent of project costs, while Fairfax County will be on the hook for the other 20 percent. Of Arlington’s $200 million tab, the county hopes to obtain $92.7 million in federal and state funding.
“The Board also believes, after years of conversation with the community, that strategic investments in our transit system and our recreational opportunities – providing a streetcar system and an aquatics and recreation facility at Long Bridge Park — will well serve generations of Arlingtonians to come,” Hynes said.
The board voted to amend the CIP to accelerate phase three of the Long Bridge Park project, which includes building a playground at the park. An amendment would reallocate $1.4 million for the playground, which was originally slated to be part of the 2016 planned bond referendum. Board member Walter Tejada was the lone dissenter, questioning why the money would be put toward a playground instead of a facility he says many people have asked him about — an indoor soccer facility.
“There’s an objection on the part of thousands of Arlingtonians, that our plans still don’t address all the aspirations that people have expressed. In particular in the case of indoor soccer,” Tejada said. “I would say that this language falls short and for those reasons I’m not going to support it.”
Hynes countered that the playground holds a far smaller price tag than an indoor soccer facility would, making it easier to fund.
“There are many aspirations in this community by many people. This is about whether we can accelerate a very small, relatively inexpensive thing to meet a need,” said Hynes. “A brand new building for indoor soccer is an $80 million expenditure. To rearrange this ten year plan to accommodate that would require us to make other priority choices.”
The board voted unanimously to approve the CIP, which covers FY 2013-2022. The move from a six-year to a 10-year plan is intended to allow for better planning and financing of multi-year projects. The CIP will be updated every two years.
The county has been working with Paradigm Development Company to develop the 2.3 acre public park. The property is known as Buckingham Commons Village I, and a portion purchased by the county for $14.8 million in 2009 will be dedicated as Henry Wright Park (4350 4th Street North), as well as a new county street.
Paradigm Development Company will be responsible for ongoing maintenance at the park, as part of the public/private partnership. The county will maintain the new portions of North 4th Street and North Upton Street once they are dedicated. The measures were finalized by the County Board’s unanimous vote at its meeting on Saturday (July 21).
“Henry Wright Park brings much needed open space to Buckingham Commons Village I,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “Through a public/private partnership with Paradigm, the county has found a cost effective way to ensure that this beautiful park is well taken care of so that generations of Arlington children have a safe, attractive place to come together, exercise and play.”
The oval park has a fenced in playground for two to 12-year-olds, picnic and game tables, two grassy areas and a sign commemorating the history of the Buckingham Villages Gardens Apartments.
Construction began last fall and is nearly complete. If all goes according to plan, the park will open next month.
Updated at 1:55 p.m. The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved $6.5 million in contracts for a new water main project on Williamsburg Boulevard and a sewer pipe upgrade at the intersection of Lee Highway and John Marshall Drive.
The Williamsburg Boulevard Water Supply Main project is the second phase of the county’s effort to connect the Ethan Allen pump station to the Minor Hill Reservoir. Part of the water main, from the pump station to north Glebe Road, was completed in 2003. The segment from North Glebe Road to 34th Road North is under construction.
The $5.6 million project was awarded to Alexandria-based contractor Martin & Gass Inc., which will lay the 36-inch water main in Williamsburg Boulevard beginning at 35th Street North and ending at the reservoir. The new water main will provide water supply to Minor Hill, which will allow for maintenance on existing water mains without service disruption, according to an Arlington County press release.
The entire water main should be completed by September 2013, according to Shannon Whalen McDaniel, spokeswoman for the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services. The new phase of the project will begin in December.
About $900,000 of the approved funds will go toward sewer improvements at John Marshall Drive and Lee Highway, an area the county deemed as prone to flooding in a 2011 analysis. Flooding during a June 2006 storm damaged area homes, which prompted the stormwater study. The project is scheduled to begin in September, McDaniel said.
“As our County continues to grow and age, it is critical that we make ongoing, prudent investments in our infrastructure,” said County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “The upgrades that the Board approved today will help improve the operations of our essential water and sewage systems, protect against flooding and allow us to continue delivering first-class services to our residents.”
Republican County Board candidate Matt Wavro and Green Party candidate Audrey Clement — who will be facing Democratic County Board member Libby Garvey in November — both say that the streetcar is a bad idea.
“We should not hamper the ability of our community to continually improve our plans and development decisions by installing an inflexible, impractical and egregiously expensive circulator trolley that many citizens do not want,” Wavro wrote in a statement, released last week. “Instead of a circulator trolley, I would promote and support enhanced bus service from Columbia Pike and Crystal City through Pentagon City and on into Rosslyn.”
In a statement, Clement said she also supported a form of enhanced bus service on the Pike.
“In addition to its exorbitant cost I oppose the Pike trolley because it would induce demand for housing, thus accelerating gentrification of the Pike,” Clement wrote. “I prefer compact double-deck buses, like those that are being introduced into service in London, rather than articulated buses, on the Pike’s congested roadway”
County staff is recommending the Board approve the streetcar plan, saying the streetcar “will best achieve the vision for the Columbia Pike corridor as a vibrant, diverse, and pedestrian and transit oriented community.”
The full statements from Clement and Wavro, after the jump.
(Updated at 10:05 a.m.) Workers are on the scene of a water main break that has shut down part of S. Courthouse Road in the Penrose neighborhood.
Buses and cars are being re-routed away from the work, which has closed S. Courthouse Road between 6th and 8th Streets.
As of 10:00 a.m., the break itself was repaired, but workers are now filling the hole and repairing the street.
The road is expected to be closed for about two more hours, so drivers should plan on finding alternate routes until around noon.
Pentagon City Elevator Contract Approved — The Arlington County Board has approved a contract to design a second elevator for the busy Pentagon City Metro station. The estimated $5.1 million elevator construction project has already received $4.5 million in federal funding. [Arlington County]
Arlington’s Roads Rate ‘Poor’ — More than one third of Arlington County’s 974 mile street network is in “poor” condition, based on the county’s own assessment. The reason for the poor road conditions may lie with spending. The county has been spending significantly less on paving than the amount recommended by its top streets official. [Patch]
Board Considers Solar at Supermarkets — County Board members say they’ll consider a Green Party proposal to either force or encourage supermarkets to install solar power arrays on their roof. The solar power could help refrigerate food during power outages. [Sun Gazette]
Maywood Neighborhood Profiled — The historic Maywood neighborhood of Arlington is “endearing and peaceful” and “extremely friendly,” according to a radio profile. [WAMU]
Renovations Revealed at Crystal City Hotel — Last week the 343-room Crystal City Marriott officially unveiled its $7 million redesign, which included new common areas like a new bar/restaurant and a new fitness center. [Marriott]
Flickr pool photo by Lifeinthedistrict