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by ARLnow.com — September 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm 4,922 74 Comments

An Arlington County Police cruiser slammed into a vehicle in Pentagon City while responding to a call this (Sunday) afternoon.

The incident happened around 3:30 p.m. The officer was heading westbound on Army Navy Drive, responding to a large fight in progress at the Sheraton National hotel (900 S. Orme Street), when a Saab pulled out in front of him from a Pentagon parking lot. Multiple witnesses told ARLnow.com that the cruiser had its lights and siren on, while the driver of the Saab had a green light. One witness said he was in his car with the windows up and could not hear the siren.

The cruiser and the Saab collided, sending the Saab careening into the eastbound lanes of Army Navy Drive. The cruiser wound up in the center of the intersection, facing an entrance to the Pentagon City mall parking garage.

Paramedics treated the female driver of the Saab at the scene for an apparent ankle injury. The officer did not require medical attention.

Eastbound Army Navy Drive was closed for at least an hour while police photographed the scene and took witness statements. No word yet whether any charges will be filed as a result of the accident.

by ARLnow.com — September 29, 2012 at 2:30 am 26,953 207 Comments

(Updated at 11:35 a.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a serious pedestrian accident on a busy street in the center of Clarendon.

An adult male was struck by a Honda Civic coupe heading eastbound on Clarendon Blvd, near the intersection with N. Highland Street, around 12:30 a.m., according to initial reports. The man suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported via ambulance to George Washington University Hospital.

Police shut down Clarendon Blvd from Washington Blvd to N. Garfield Street while detectives investigated the accident. Crowds of Clarendon bar-goers peered from behind yellow police tape at the bloody evidence marked at the scene, including the victim’s shoes, pants and shirt.

The driver of the Honda, identified by police as 22-year-old Tyler Bruce Wills of Bowie, Md., was arrested on scene and charged with DUI and DUI Maiming. He’s currently being held without bond. Charges against Wills may change depending on the status of the victim, said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The victim, a 27-year-old man from Collinsville, Va., has been undergoing surgeries and remains in critical condition, according to Sternbeck. The victim suffered a fractured skull, two broken legs, a broken arm, numerous lacerations to his body, and a big laceration to his face. A friend was with the victim at the time of the accident and was able to notify his family, Sternbeck said.

Unconfirmed witness accounts suggested the victim was crossing just outside the crosswalk and was struck by the car, which was traveling through the intersection at what was described as a relatively high rate of speed. The victim flew through the air and came to rest, motionless, on the pavement, a witness said.

As of 2:15 a.m., a police accident reconstruction team was taking photos and using measurement devices to piece together a more definitive account of how the accident happened.

by ARLnow.com — September 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm 3,506 10 Comments

(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) Two and a half years after we first reported that Arlington Public Schools was planning to close the aging David M. Brown Planetarium (1426 N. Quincy Street), the planetarium officially reopened today (Friday) with a flourish.

Elected officials, school employees, media members and planetarium supporters were on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception this morning. It was the culmination of a lot of hard work by a dedicated group of planetarium boosters — the Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium — who succeeded not only in preventing the planetarium’s closure, but in raising more than $400,000 to fully renovate and modernize the facility.

The forty-year-old planetarium now features a state-of-the-art Spitz SciDome HD digital projection system, an integrated surround sound system, LED dome lighting, and new seating, carpeting, insulation, plumbing, mechanical systems, restrooms and doors.

Raphael Perrino, a former Arlington Public Schools student who helped lead the charge to save the planetarium, said today’s opening was “surreal” after so many hours spent to make it possible.

“This is a triumphant day for Arlington, and I’m proud to be part of this group and proud of the planetarium,” he told ARLnow.com. Perrino said he hopes the planetarium will continue to inspire budding astronomers and scientists for years to home.

“This is such a wonderful day… it’s similar to my first time coming to the planetarium when I was six years old,” he said. “I remember coming through that hallway and seeing all those galaxies, and supernovae and nebulae and planets. Coming into that room that was full of stars — that to me was one of the most awesome things I’ve ever seen, to see a night sky. Growing up in an suburban-slash-urban environment you’re not used to seeing a sky like that. To have seen that for the first time was very special. So this is almost similar, in the level of excitement. It’s just an exhilarating day.”

About half of the more than $400,000 raised to save the planetarium was donated by small donors — often in $5, $10 or $20 increments — the other half came from large donors, Perrino said. In addition the numerous volunteers, donors and petition signers, Perrino credited Arlington’s unique brand of civic participation for today’s joyous outcome.

“It’s a victory for Arlington children, it’s a victory for science outreach and education, and it’s really quintessential Arlington Way,” he said. “The idea that you see something you don’t like, you get together and do something about it. It’s civic engagement that you see here, and it’s a beautiful part of this community. I feel very privileged to have been a part of this campaign.”

Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium President Dr. Alice Monet, who was among the speakers at the ceremony, said one of the more powerful emotions she experienced today was relief.

“Speaking for myself, I feel happy and relieved that the job has been finished and everything turned out so well,” she said. “It was such a complex effort, involving so many people, all sorts of challenges, roadblocks and opportunities, near disasters and astonishing breakthroughs, personality clashes and camaraderie – and, overall, it was a very humbling and inspiring experience. The new planetarium is sleek, polished, and beautifully functional. I feel sure it will be a great place for teaching and inspiring students, teachers, and the whole community for years to come.”

About 25,000 students are expected to visit the planetarium each year, according to Perrino. That number may increase, he said, as other school systems consider arranging for their students to utilize the facility.

The planetarium is named after the late astronaut and Yorktown High School grad David M. Brown, who perished in the 2003 Columbia disaster.

In addition to hosting today’s ceremony, the Friends of the Planetarium will be hosting a series of grand opening events this weekend.

Among those on hand for the reopening ceremony were: APS Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy, Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez and other members of the Arlington School Board, Rep. Jim Moran, former NASA astronaut William Readdy, former NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe, APS Science Department Supervisor Dr. Dat Le, Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Operations Clarence Stukes, County Board member Libby Garvey, Dels. Alfonso Lopez and Patrick Hope, state Sen. Barbara Favola, and WJLA meteorologist Bob Ryan.

Photo (middle) courtesy Frank Bellavia/APS

by ARLnow.com — September 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm 4,371 37 Comments

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s Animal Control Department is seeking information about an injured puppy.

The AWLA says the 4-6 week old Boxer puppy was found yesterday, Sept. 27, on the 400 block of N. Oakland Street, in the Ashton Heights neighborhood. The puppy was “very sick and severely injured,” the organization said.

Citing an ongoing investigation, AWLA Chief Operating Officer Susan Sherman declined to release details about the nature of the puppy’s injuries.

Anyone with information about the puppy is asked to call Animal Control at 703-931-9241.

File photo of three-month-old Boxer puppy by Almcwilliams via Wikipedia

by ARLnow.com — September 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm 1,651 19 Comments

If you’re looking for new home, you’re in luck. There are nearly three dozen open houses to choose from in Arlington this weekend.

See our real estate section for a full listing of open houses. Here are a few highlights:

1823 Nelson Street North
Single Family Detached — 5 Bed / 6 Bath
Listed: $1,650,000
Agent: John Mentis
Open: Sunday, Sept. 30 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

6201 30th Street North
Single Family Detached — 5 Bed / 6 Bath
Listed: $1,499,000
Agent: Ivana Pelikan
Open: Sunday, Sept. 30 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

2550 Greenbrier Street North
Single Family Detached — 6 Bed / 4 Bath
Listed: $1,235,000
Agent: Theresa Helfman Taylor
Open: Sunday, Sept. 30 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

1410 21st Street South
Single Family Detached — 4 Bed / 4 Bath
Listed: $919,000
Agent: Tonya Finlay
Open: Sunday, Sept. 30 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

2702 Lee Highway
Condominium — 2 Bed / 2 Bath
Listed: $759,900
Agent: Kathleen Brandel
Open: Sunday, Sept. 30 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

1300 Crystal Drive
Condominium — 2 Bed / 2 Bath
Listed: $560,000
Agent: Mohamud Ali
Open: Sunday, Sept. 30 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

5222 27th Road North
Single Family Detached — 2 Bed / 1 Bath
Listed: $559,000
Agent: Craig Mastrangelo
Open: Sunday, Sept. 30 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

1020 Highland Street North
Condominium — 1 Bed / 1 Bath
Listed: $489,000
Agent: Diane Schline
Open: Sunday, Sept. 30 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

by ARLnow.com — September 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm 2,248 23 Comments

Foreign intelligence agencies often recruit spies and double agents within the American government by targeting federal employees in financial distress. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) says the passage of a bill in the House of Representatives today will prevent those intelligence agencies from finding financially-troubled feds with only a few clicks of the mouse.

Moran applauded the passage of bill S. 3625, which will delay certain provisions of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act from taking effect. The provisions would have required automatic online posting of the financial disclosure forms of 28,000 senior federal employees (GS-15 and SES level). The forms could reveal information about employees’ stock portfolio, real estate investments, and retirement funds.

In an Op-Ed in the Federal Times, Moran wrote:

Under the proposed online system our enemies around the world might be able to search thousands of records with a single keystroke — anonymously exploiting an easily accessible database to search for subtle differences in financial disclosures.

If analyzed closely, these differences might betray the identity of members of the intelligence community, while simultaneously providing information to our enemies as to which employees might be struggling financially — a known criteria used by foreign intelligence services to target individuals for espionage.

The bill, which will now head to the president’s desk following today’s voice vote in the House, will delay the online reporting provisions for senior federal employees from taking effect until Dec. 8. It also requires a study of “issues raised by website publication of financial disclosure forms” by the National Academy of Public Administration.

Earlier this month, a federal judge blocked enforcement of the STOCK Act until Oct. 31, after the American Civil Liberties Union argued that posting employees’ financial information is a violation of their privacy.

The full press release from Rep. Moran’s office, after the jump.

Photo courtesy Andrew Clegg

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by ARLnow.com — September 28, 2012 at 11:40 am 966 5 Comments

Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)

Well, it’s finally happened — I’ve hit a writer’s block. I have no idea what I’m going to be writing about this week. We’ve covered most of the seasonal stuff, and gone through style after style of beer. I’ve read over and over how when confronted with a writer’s block, one should simply put their head down and write through it. So that’s what I’m going to do. Here are some thoughts I’ve had while on the job lately:

* Foreign visitors and transplants to the area are always shocked at how few imports I carry. American buyers are more excited about American craft brew than other countries. The exceptions seem to be individual brewers/breweries that carry a following, or certain styles (like Sour Ales) which are very popular right now. I think on some level the spectrum of great beers and divergent styles available to us here in the States has given the American craft beer geek a broader and more open palate that our friends around the world.

* That said, the great microbreweries scattered all over Europe are putting out some of the most exciting stuff out there. It’s too bad most European drinkers seem to be either tied to their macrobrewery of choice, or are too busy arguing pedantically to see that craft beer is passing them by.

* Yes, I can help you with wine. I love my customers and appreciate the recognition I’m known as a beer guy, but I’ve also worked as a wine buyer and for multiple wine importers/distributors in my day. I don’t drink as much wine at home as beer, but I love wine and am passionate about it and do, in fact, possess some knowledge on the subject. Asking only either:

  1. Implies that there’s something wrong with “only” knowing about beer, and…
  2. Completely negates the nearly 10 years I’ve spent working with wine as well as beer.

Are we not, as human beings, allowed multiple interests?

* I’m really excited for holiday season beer releases. More than the fall stuff, even. There are always cool little oddball releases around the holidays and I love seeing what comes in around that time.

* After all these years and all the different styles of beer I’ve gotten into, there’s still a part of me that is a hardcore hophead. When something like Firestone Walker’s Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA comes out, it reminds me all over again what got me into craft beer in the first place: outstanding, earthy, piney, citrusy hoppy goodness.

Okay, well I had some stuff to talk about after all. Until next time.

Cheers!

Nick Anderson maintains a blog at www.beermonger.net, and can be found on Twitter at @The_Beermonger. Sign up for Arrowine’s money saving email offers and free wine and beer tastings at www.arrowine.com/mailing-list-signup.aspx. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

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by ARLnow.com — September 28, 2012 at 10:20 am 5,098 97 Comments

Arlington has ranked #27 on Bloomberg Businessweek’s new 2012 list of “American’s 50 Best Cities.”

The county got high marks for having the highest median household income and the lowest rate of unemployment on the list. But while the county’s economy may be strong, Businessweek gave Arlington low marks for its bar scene.

“The city could stand to be a bit more fun — it’s held back by weak nightlife,” the magazine said of Arlington.

At #27, Arlington ranked between Chicago (#28) and Milwaukee (#26). Washington, D.C. ranked third on the list, just below second-place Seattle and first-place San Francisco. Cities were ranked based on “leisure attributes, educational attributes, economic factors, crime, and air quality.”

Hat tip to @wfpman. Photo by Steve Uzzell/Rosslyn BID.

by ARLnow.com — September 28, 2012 at 9:30 am 2,048 19 Comments

Officials Prepare for USS Arlington Commissioning — Arlington County Board Chairman Mary Hynes, county treasurer Frank O’Leary and other local leaders traveled to Norfolk on Wednesday to meet with Navy officials to plan for the commissioning of the USS Arlington, a new amphibious transport ship named after the county. The commissioning ceremony is currently planned for April 2013. [Sun Gazette]

José Andrés Food Truck Coming to Arlington — Famed local chef José Andrés (of Jaleo fame) is bringing his new food truck venture in Arlington. The “Pepe” food truck is expanding its service area from the District to Montgomery County and Arlington. The truck serves a rotating selection of flautas — a type of Spanish sandwich. [Huff Post DC]

Arlington Scores Above Average, Below Fairfax on SATs — Arlington Public Schools students in the class of 2012 scored an average of 1641 (out of 2400) on the SATs. That score is above the national average of 1498 and above the state average of 1517, but slightly below the Fairfax County average of 1654. [Patch]

Pentagon Exhibit Seeking Veteran Artists — An organization called the Veteran Artist Program is seeking art submissions from military veterans for a new veteran art exhibit at the Pentagon. Organizers told ARLnow.com that they’ve received numerous submissions from around the county, but not many from the Northern Virginia area. The entry deadline is Oct. 30. [Veteran Artist Program]

Clarendon Salon to Hold Grand OpeningCasal’s de Spa and Salon has been open at 3033 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon since June, but the business will be holding its official “grand opening” ceremony this weekend. The non-tipping salon will be offering food, libations, and music from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

by ARLnow.com — September 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm 1,507 12 Comments

Update at 9:10 p.m. — The storm is expected to impact Arlington within the next hour.

… STRONG THUNDERSTORM TO AFFECT ARLINGTON… MONTGOMERY… PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK… PRINCE GEORGES… LOUDOUN AND FAIRFAX COUNTIES…

AT 858 PM EDT… A STRONG THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED OVER CENTREVILLE… MOVING EAST AT 20 MPH.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE FAIRFAX… OAKTON… MANTUA… VIENNA… THE I66 AND I495 INTERCHANGE… MERRIFIELD… DUNN LORING… TYSONS CORNER… PIMMIT HILLS AND FALLS CHURCH.

THIS STORM IS PRODUCING FREQUENT CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING. MOVE INDOORS IMMEDIATELY FOR YOUR SAFETY. IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER… YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.

HEAVY RAIN WITH THIS STORM WILL REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO BELOW ONE MILE AND MAY CAUSE PONDING OF WATER ON ROADWAYS.

WIND GUSTS OF UP TO 40 MPH CAN BE EXPECTED WITH THIS STORM.

The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the D.C. area through midnight tonight (Thursday). A line of rain and strong storms are slowly approaching from the west.

From Arlington Alerts:

The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for all of the Metro Area, effective until 12 midnight. The current most likely time of thunderstorm arrival is between 7:30 and 9:15 PM. Storms are moving east at 15 mph with reported 60 mph wind gusts.

by Katie Pyzyk — September 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm 4,680 84 Comments

Update on 10/4/12 — The store is now open, according to owner Lisa Ostroff.

A new store specializing in fair trade goods is opening in Westover. Trade Roots will replace Arax Cafe (5852 Washington Blvd), which closed this summer.

All of the products in the store are handmade by people in lesser developed countries including Kenya, Guatemala, South Africa, Nepal and Madagascar. Rather than resorting to working in a sweat shop, the laborers receive a fair wage for their products and are involved with a system that helps the goods get to market in more developed nations. Many of the items are created from recycled goods and promote sustainability.

“Fair trade is huge in Europe, it’s quite big on the West Coast and I think it’s going to continue to grow here,” said owner Lisa Ostroff. “When people come in they’ll see this is not a charity. They’re all beautiful things and they secondarily help someone struggling in some of these countries.”

Ostroff has lived in Arlington for nearly 30 years and wanted to open a store that tapped into her time spent studying international relations and non-profit management.

“It sort of brings all my skills together,” said Ostroff. “I’m not able to go there and be in the Peace Corps at this time in my life, but this was a good way to help people without actually being over there.”

Fair trade coffee will be sold by the bag, and customers can sample freshly brewed java. Ostroff hopes customers will visit the store for more than picking up a birthday or holiday gift. She pointed out that some smaller items could be hostess or teacher gifts, and many of the items can simply be a personal treat.

“Think of it as a little something for yourself, because it’s not expensive,” she said.

For now, Ostroff is working to stock the last few shelves and tie up loose ends. Trade Roots will officially open once its occupancy certificate is approved, which Ostroff hopes is in the next two weeks.

“I just think this is great for Arlington. Arlington is a liberal community,” Ostroff said. “I’m actually surprised that there isn’t something like this already. I’m hoping that this really grows.”

by Katie Pyzyk — September 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm 2,751 7 Comments

An Arlington native appeared on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” on Tuesday (Sept. 25) to promote the television show he’s starring in this fall.

Zach Cregger is one of the starring actors in the new NBC comedy “Guys with Kids.” Although his biography page says he currently splits his time between New York and Los Angeles, we’re told Cregger is originally from the Country Club Hills neighborhood of Arlington. He attended The Field School in the District before moving to New York City to attend The School of Visual Arts.

On Fallon’s show, when asked about filming in front of a live audience, Cregger said he has enjoyed the experience.

“Acting, I think, is all about confidence. And when you get a laugh, you get more confident and then it just kind of feeds itself,” said Cregger. “I think it improves everything.”

“Guys with Kids” airs at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays on NBC.

Hat tip to David Johnson

by Katie Pyzyk — September 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm 4,655 91 Comments

(Updated at 3:25 p.m.) The Arlington County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a man accused of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl.

Toribio Antonio Rodriguez-Soriano is a 31-year-old Hispanic male, around 5’5″ tall and weighing around 160 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Due to the sensitive nature of the case and the ongoing investigation, police will not disclose exactly where or when Rodriguez-Soriano allegedly assaulted the girl. However, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, the suspect knows the victim. Rodriguez-Soriano was last seen on the night of Sunday, Sept. 23.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Rodriguez-Soriano is asked to contact Detective Jim Stone of the ACPD Special Victims Unit at 703-228-4245 or at investigations@arlingtonva.us. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).

by ARLnow.com — September 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm 3,434 28 Comments

Busboys and Poets in Shirlington (4251 S. Campbell Avenue) is hosting a new art exhibit dedicated to breasts.

The exhibit, called Telling Intimate True Stories (TITS), features plaster castings of women’s breasts, turned into works of art. The opening of the exhibit coincides with October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some of the castings are from local breast cancer survivors.

Women who participated in the castings range in age from 18 to 73, and each participant wrote an essay that accompanies the casting. The essays talk about “individual body image or life experiences,” Busboys and Poets spokeswoman Melissa DePaulis told ARLnow.com.

“There are works by domestic violence survivors that tell of jarring horrors. Cancer survivors talk of their own painful journeys. There are stories of self image from preteen years,” DePaulis said. “All work is anonymous. It is our hope that audiences are impacted by the work — that they recognize their own stories in the castings and essays and they feel empathy for the range of women’s experiences.”

Telling Intimate True Stories was created by Taking Flight, an nonprofit group “that gives women creative opportunities to voice our experiences.” The organization hopes the exhibit “brings attention to breast health as it also gives women a platform to express our feelings related to our breasts and body images.”

The exhibit is expected to remain displayed at the restaurant for about six months. An artist reception for the exhibit will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16. The event is free and open to the public.

Hat tip to Scott McCaffrey

by ARLnow.com — September 27, 2012 at 10:53 am 3,484 71 Comments

(Updated at 2:40 p.m.) – Power has been restored to nearly all of the 2,200 customers who were without power due to a vehicle accident in Cherrydale. The intersection of N. Quincy Street and Lee Highway, however, remains a mess.

According to an officer on the scene, just before 10:00 a.m., the driver of a large truck was attempting to make a right turn onto Lee Highway from northbound Quincy Street. Somehow he snagged a cable anchored into the sidewalk, which supports a utility pole. The top of the pole snapped and brought down wires, a transformer and part of another pole.

“This is all just because some guy couldn’t make a turn correctly,” the officer said.

The officer declined to comment on whether the driver received a ticket.

Traffic signals were dark in parts of Cherrydale, Ballston and Virginia Square in addition to the residential customers without power. Dominion was able to re-route power and all but 166 customers had electricity restored within an hour, according to Dominion spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson. As of 2:40 p.m., there are only 9 remaining customers who don’t have power, and they are in the immediate vicinity of the accident.

Dominion crews are on the scene and have to replace the smashed transformer, one utility pole, the cross beam of another utility pole and will have to reconnect all the power lines. They also have to clean up the fluid that leaked from the smashed transformer, which Anderson said is harmless mineral oil. Crews had first hoped to have all the work finished sometime around 5:00 p.m., but due to the extent of the damage, the new estimate is in the 7:00-9:00 p.m. range.

Quincy Street remains closed between 20th Street and Lee Highway. Police are at the intersection to help with traffic control.

 

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