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Board Approves County’s Largest Private Office Building

by ARLnow.com | September 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm | 3,465 views | 40 Comments

The Arlington County Board has approved a new 24-story office building in Crystal City — a building that’s being billed as a catalyst for Crystal City’s revitalization.

At 24 stories and 719,704 square feet, the building — 1900 Crystal Drive — will be second only to the Pentagon in Arlington in terms of floor space.

(Alhough 1900 Crystal Drive will be the tallest in Crystal City, the 580,000 square foot, 35-story office building currently under construction at 1812 N. Moore Street in Rosslyn is still expected to be the tallest countywide.)

The building includes 11,290 square feet of ground floor retail space, plus a five-level, 732 space parking garage and nearly 150 bicycle parking spaces. Vehicle parking will be available to the public on weekends, holidays and after 6:00 p.m. on weekdays. Some residents expressed concern about extra vehicular traffic as a result of the building, but it won approval from the county’s Transportation Commission by a vote of 9-0.

Vornado, the developer of 1900 Crystal Drive, agreed to a number of community benefits in exchange for the extra zoning density required for the project. Among the benefits:

  • $3 million contribution to the county’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund
  • $75,000 contribution to the county’s public art fund
  • $154,000 for Arlington utility fund, $20,000 for multi-space parking meters
  • Various improvements to 18th Street S.
  • $1.4 million for Arlington County Commuter Services and $65 Metro SmartTrip cards for building employees (to encourage transit commuting)
  • $2.76 million for a temporary half-acre park
  • $2.56 million for a four-pipe hydronic heating and cooling system, part of the county’s plan to encourage a district energy system for Crystal City

Though resident concerns about the building were largely assuaged, thanks to the addition of low-reflection glass and a 900 square foot community meeting room, Board member Chris Zimmerman voted against the project. (It passed 4-1.)

Zimmerman said that the community benefits associated with the project were relatively small for a building of its size, but ultimately his ‘no’ vote came down to his view that the building’s site plan does not pave a sure-fire path to the construction of a proposed, adjacent “Center Park.” Instead, the site plan just requires Vornado to work with county staff “to prepare an implementation plan for guiding the achievement of Center Park.”

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County Warns of Severe Weather Threat on Tuesday

by ARLnow.com | September 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm | 3,569 views | 13 Comments

Arlington County officials are warning of the possibility of severe weather tomorrow.

Forecasters say a cold front is likely to bring high winds and very heavy rain during the afternoon and evening hours.

The National Weather Service is reporting the possibility of widespread showers and thunderstorms expected across Virginia Tuesday into Tuesday night along and ahead of a strong cold front. There is potential for development of strong to severe thunderstorms with threats of damaging winds (10-25 mph with gusts up to 50 mph), isolated tornadoes and periods of heavy rainfall which could cause threat of localized flash flooding, especially Tuesday afternoon and evening. Please pay close attention to your local news and weather media outlets for further information.

Resident Warns of Possible ‘Scooter Scam’

by ARLnow.com | September 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm | 8,219 views | 132 Comments

A tipster says a man on a scooter has been attempting to scam Arlington residents.

The woman, who didn’t want her named used for this article, said the man (pictured, above) pulls off to the side of the road, pretends to be out of gas, and asks passersby for money. She said she informed police about the possible scammer, but wanted other local residents to be aware of him as well.

On Saturday, a friend told me that she saw a man on a scooter who was panicked and asking for gas money. This was in Rosslyn near Ft. Myer. She said he seemed legit, was middle-aged, and refused to use her phone when she offered. She ended up giving him cash. Half an hour ago, I was walking on Highland St. in Lyon Village and saw a man on a scooter pull up on the sidewalk, putz around with the mechanical parts (it sounded like it was sputtering), and then ask the next young woman who walked by for cash because he was out of gas. It appeared to be the same man. He is about 5’10″, white, reddish-blonde hair, middle-aged, and was wearing a maroon shirt, black pants, and white Adidas shoes. He was on a silver scooter. Just wanted to give a heads up… that this guy is a scammer (especially because he appears to be approaching young women in particular). Don’t fall for it.

Moran Introduces Childhood Obesity Bill

by ARLnow.com | September 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm | 2,345 views | 52 Comments

Late last week, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) introduced a bill that would enable ten states to collect body mass index information from youngsters in immunization registries. The bill would serve as a pilot program for tracking the prevalence of childhood obesity.

Rep. Moran’s office issued the following press release about the bill:

In recognition of Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, today introduced legislation that would establish a pilot program to track the prevalence of childhood obesity. The program would include the accumulation of body mass index (BMI) data in current immunization registries in 10 states.

“Obesity has reached near epidemic levels across the United States. The health of our youngest Americans will impact our economy, health care costs and public health,” said Moran. “In order to track our progress in reducing childhood obesity, we must have accurate and up-to-date information.”

Moran’s legislation would eliminate the need to create an entirely new data system by adding BMI data to current childhood immunization record systems. Body mass index is a non-invasive measurement calculated from height and weight. The legislation requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to deliver a report on the results and effectiveness of the pilot program after enactment.

Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled – nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. Obesity is a leading factor in diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other life-threatening health diseases.

President Obama declared September 2012 National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month to encourage all Americans to learn about and engage in activities that promote healthy eating and greater physical activity by all our nation’s children.

Fugitive With Bullet Wound to Foot Arrested at Hospital

by ARLnow.com | September 17, 2012 at 11:00 am | 2,444 views | 7 Comments

A wanted Maryland man was arrested at Virginia Hospital Center last week after he showed up with a bullet wound to his foot.

The incident happened just before 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11. The man was found on the ground at the hospital’s Emergency Room entrance, with a gunshot wound to his right foot, according to a police report. He was brought inside and treated by hospital staff.

When police showed up to interview the man, he refused to provide information about what happened. It was at that point that a fingerprint scan revealed that the man was actually a fugitive wanted for a crime in the District of Columbia.

Police arrested 22-year-old Isaiah Green of Capitol Heights, Md. As of last week he was being held without bond and was awaiting extradition.

Morning Poll: Rush Minus?

by ARLnow.com | September 17, 2012 at 9:35 am | 2,594 views | 45 Comments

Metro’s Rush Plus service is not working as planned, officials say.

As reported by WTOP, the rush hour changes have resulted in overcrowding on the Blue Line, since not as many riders are using the Yellow Line as expected.

Has your commute on Metro improved, stayed the same, or gotten worse since Rush Plus was first implemented on June 18? (A week after the change, more than 75 percent of poll respondents said their commute had stayed the same or gotten worse.)

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | September 17, 2012 at 8:49 am | 1,702 views | 14 Comments

Author to Discuss Potomac River — Local author Garrett Peck will discuss his book, The Potomac River: A History and a Guide, at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) tonight. The free event will be held at the library’s auditorium from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. [Arlington Public Library]

Yorktown Wins, Again — The Yorktown Patriots varsity football squad chalked up another big win on Friday. The team defeated the Herndon Hornets by a score of 51-21. Bishop O’Connell also won on Friday, beating the St. Mary’s Ryken 17-13 on the road. Washington-Lee and Wakefield both lost. [Sun Gazette]

Cuccinelli Coming to Arlington for Constitution Day — Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will celebrate today’s Constitution Day observance with the Arlington Falls Church Young Republicans. The group is hosting Cuccinelli at RiRa Irish Pub (2915 Wilson Blvd) in Clarendon starting at 7:00 p.m. [Facebook]

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