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Fmr VP Cheney to Attend Fundraiser Tonight at Clarendon Ballroom

by ARLnow.com | October 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm | 3,012 views | 47 Comments

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and Ben Romney, the son of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, are scheduled to attend a fundraiser at Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd) tonight.

The private fundraiser will start at 6:15 p.m. tonight (Thursday) and is being held in advance of the vice presidential debate, which airs at 9:00 p.m. The event includes a roundtable meeting, a VIP photo reception, and a general reception that starts at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets for the fundraiser range in price from $100 to $5,000 and benefit the Romney campaign.

“Come meet a former vice president before watching the future vice president!” said an invitation to the event, which was organized by Young Professionals for Romney.

File photo

New Fitness Equipment Along Repaved Four Mile Run Trail

by ARLnow.com | October 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm | 4,147 views | 23 Comments

Update at 9:20 a.m. — The surfacing below the fitness stations has been installed and the equipment is ready to use.

Arlington County has installed brand new fitness equipment along a stretch of the Four Mile Run Trail near Shirlington.

That stretch of the Four Mile Run Trail, which runs parallel to Arlington Mill Drive, was repaved last month.

The new Energi-branded outdoor fitness equipment utilizes bars and platforms to allow dozens of simple exercises that work out nearly all of the body’s 600 muscles. The equipment replaced older, deteriorating equipment that was once there, in Shirlington Park.

The equipment is still off-limits to the public while a contractor prepared to install surfacing under each station. No word yet on when that work might take place.

‘Old-Fashioned Fun’ at Gulf Branch Fall Heritage Fest

by ARLnow.com | October 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm | 1,694 views | 4 Comments

The Gulf Branch Nature Center at 3608 Military Road will be hosting its annual Fall Heritage Festival on Saturday.

The festival will feature live music and family-friendly autumn activities. Admission is $5 per person, though children under three may attend for free.

The nature center issued the following promotional blurb about the event.

On Saturday, October 13 from 1 to 5 p.m., visit Gulf Branch Nature Center for old-timey fun for the whole family. This is a beloved community event that has been attracting hundreds of Arlingtonians for over a dozen years. “We’re starting to see the second generation now – young families coming whose parents remember making cider here when they were little.” said Jennifer Soles, staff naturalist. Last year, two more activity stations were added: pumpkin-painting and scarecrow making, so bring old clothes! Families can also participate in activities such as butter-churning, candle-dipping, cornhusk doll-making and LOTS more. “Everyone always wants a chance to explore the log cabin when they visit” reports naturalist Marty Pross. The Blacksmithing Guild of the Potomac has ongoing demonstrations in the forge. “Kids love to see the sparks – but the dads are the ones who often have to be dragged away” smith Curt Welch remembers. Festival goers enjoy music by Andrew Acosta & the New Old-Time String Band too! Summing up, 4-year old Mason Schnell says of the whole festival “It’s my favorite!”

For details, please call (703) 228-3403. Gulf Branch Nature Center is located at 3608 Military Rd, Arlington, VA 22207. $5 per person (children under three enter for free). Parking lot is closed for the event. On-street parking available on Military Road and 36th Road North.

Man Convicted of Taking Unauthorized Topless Photo of Girlfriend

by ARLnow.com | October 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm | 10,782 views | 249 Comments

An Arlington man has been found guilty of “unlawful filming,” a Class 1 misdemeanor, after taking an unauthorized topless photo of his now-ex girlfriend while she was sleeping.

A jury sentenced Trevor Frye, 28, to 40 days in the Arlington County jail and a $2,500 fine. A judge is expected to finalize the sentencing at a hearing on Dec. 7.

Frye was acquitted on a separate charge of unlawful entry. He had been accused of entering his ex-girlfriend’s apartment and knocking on her bedroom door in the middle of the night, while intoxicated.

At trial, the victim testified that Frye emailed her the topless photo of herself — sleeping in Frye’s bed — following an argument, according to prosecutors. The photo, which was apparently taken with a cell phone, was presented as evidence at the trial. The victim testified that she had a conversation with Frye, prior to the photo being taken, in which she said she specifically said she didn’t want him to take such photos of herself.

Frye, who is not a lawyer, represented himself at trial, according to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Josh Katcher, who prosecuted the case.

The case attracted significant attention following an ARLnow.com article in May. Though public interest seemed disproportionate to the nature of the alleged crimes, in a statement issued to ARLnow.com Katcher said there’s a larger lesson to be learned from the case.

[Commonwealth's Attorney] Theo [Stamos] has made it clear that these cases are not to be taken lightly, especially because one isolated incident of unlawful filming can lead to a lifetime of anxiety. One unauthorized picture on the internet is all it takes. And you have to keep it mind, once it’s out there, there is very little we can do to get it back. The genie is out of the bottle. It’s a bell that can never be unrung.

The victim in this case will spend the rest of her life worrying that the picture Mr. Frye unlawfully took will make it onto the internet. Can you imagine if every time you applied for a job, met a significant other’s family, or made a new friend, you had to worry about them looking you up on the internet and finding a topless picture. I think it was that sentiment that caused the jury to impose 40 days [in jail] and the [maximum] fine.

This is a great result.  It sends a strong signal to the community that this type of behavior won’t be tolerated.

I have a feeling that we will see more prosecutions for this type of crime as social media becomes more intertwined with our lives, especially considering the ease with which a picture can now be snapped and sent via a smart phone.

Katcher credited Arlington County police officer Melinda Wood and detectives James Stone and Dan Gillenwater for helping to make the case against Frye.

“Without their tireless effort, a tough case would have been impossible, and a criminal would have gone free,” he said.

Rash of Car Break-Ins Reported in Clarendon

by ARLnow.com | October 11, 2012 at 11:30 am | 4,060 views | 46 Comments

Clarendon residents are being warned to lock their cars and hide any valuables after a series of vehicle break-ins at local parking garages.

Residents and business owners at the Market Common Clarendon shopping center/apartment complex were told in an email last week that management was increasing security patrols in response to a rash of break-ins.

“Over the past few weeks the parking garage experienced a number of vehicle break ins, and we want you to know that we share in your concern and frustration over these events,” property managers wrote. “Unfortunately, as the Arlington County Police have informed us, our garage is not the only area that has been affected — the entire County has seen an increase in vehicle break-ins.”

Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck could not confirm whether there has, in fact, been a noticeable increase in break-ins, but an email sent yesterday by management at the Residences at Station Square Condo (1201 N. Garfield Street) does point to the break-ins not being isolated to just one parking garage. The email, sent to building residents, confirms reports of thefts in the garage.

“We have had a rash of vehicle break ins in the garage,” the email says. “This has been happening throughout the Clarendon and Arlington area. The cars have been damaged during the break in, and small items have been stolen from the vehicle. To prevent this from happening in the future please remove all items from sight. Please remove any and all items in your parking space. Please use extra caution until the individual or individuals are apprehended.”

Last week police were dispatched to the garage for reports of incidents where a car window was busted in and loose change was taken, and where a convertible roof was cut open and a GPS navigation system taken.

Residents of both Clarendon buildings were sent an Arlington Police flyer (pictured) that advises them to always lock car doors, keep windows rolled up, and lock valuables in the trunk. Sternbeck reiterated that message in a discussion with ARLnow.com.

“It’s the responsibility of residents and visitors to lock their vehicle and not leave valuables in plain sight,” said Sternbeck, who also noted that “larceny from auto” is a common crime that occurs every day in Arlington County.

Management at the Residences at Station Square said they were “taking preventative measures from this happening in the future.” Among the actions being taken at Market Common Clarendon were expanded private security patrols, a private duty Arlington County police officer on patrol during overnight hours, and coordination with ACPD beat officers and crime prevention specialists.

Meeting Tonight to Discuss Traffic Impact of New School

by ARLnow.com | October 11, 2012 at 10:25 am | 2,308 views | 20 Comments

Parents and residents who live around Williamsburg Middle School (3600 N. Harrison Street) will be told tonight how a new elementary school will impact traffic.

As part of its plan to reduce school overcrowding, APS is planning a new 90,000 square foot, 3-4 story, 600 seat neighborhood elementary school on the Williamsburg campus. The school is projected to cost $35 million to build and construction should last from Jan. 2014 to Summer 2015.

Toole Design Group, a transportation consultant hired by Arlington Public Schools, will present the results of a Traffic Impact Study at a community meeting scheduled from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. tonight (Thursday) at the Williamsburg Middle School auditorium. The meeting is open to the public.

The consultant is also working on parking issues related to the new school and the proposed expansion of Williamsburg Middle School itself. The changes may result in 570 additional parking spaces on the site, according to a recent community presentation.

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | October 11, 2012 at 9:15 am | 1,856 views | 34 Comments

Committee Debates Aquatics Center — Arlington’s Committee of 100 debated the merits of the planned $79 million Long Bridge Park aquatics and fitness center last night. A park bond that would help fund the center is on the Nov. 6 ballot. [Sun Gazette]

Marymount University and Diversity — WUSA 9′s Peggy Fox profiles Marymount University, which she says is one of the “most diverse regional universities” despite a “race blind” admissions process. Instead of considering race during the admissions process, the university instead actively encourages minority students to apply. The U.S. Supreme Court will soon consider a case that challenges the legality of affirmative action, which allows race and ethnicity to be considered in school admissions processes. [WUSA 9]

Construction at Hayes Park — Due to construction behind the tennis courts at Hayes Park (1516 N. Lincoln Street), the park’s parking lot will be closed from 7:00 a.m. today to about 2:00 p.m. [Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association]

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