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by ARLnow.com — February 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm 1,462 9 Comments

Fire at Courthouse Wendy's restaurantThe Courthouse Wendy’s restaurant (2038 Wilson Blvd) has closed temporarily due to a fire in the kitchen.

A fryer caught on fire around 3:45 Monday afternoon, according to fire radio traffic. Thanks to the restaurant’s hood system, the fire was contained and quickly extinguished once firefighters arrived on scene.

No injuries were reported.

The restaurant was temporarily closed pending a health inspection and any necessary repairs, we hear. No word yet on when it will reopen.

Last summer, a technician suffered burns at the restaurant while repairing its fryers.

Courtesy photo

by ARLnow.com — February 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm 2,460 50 Comments

The Arlington County Police Department has released surveillance footage of today’s smash-and-grab robbery at the Zales jewelry store in the Pentagon City mall.

The video shows four men entering the store, their faces covered by hoods and masks. They then use hammers to smash a glass jewelry case, quickly grab the merchandise, and flee the store. Police say the men made a clean getaway with 27 rings worth $128,000.

Anyone with information about the suspects is encouraged to contact Det. Paula Brockenborough at 703-228-4241 or via email at pbrockenborough@arlingtonva.us. Information can also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).

by ARLnow.com — February 4, 2013 at 3:55 pm 16 Comments

Rhodeside Grill (photo via Facebook)(Updated at 8:55 p.m.) Rhodeside Grill (1836 Wilson Blvd), in the Courthouse/Rosslyn area, will be closed for much of the week for “major renovations to the upstairs bar area.”

The renovations will include an extension of the bar, a new beer cooler which will accommodate a larger selection of bottled and canned craft beers, an expanded “cocktail area,” a new tap handle display, and a refinished bar top, according to Jacob Hamblin, the restaurant’s social media manager.

Rhodeside closed last night at midnight, following the Super Bowl, and is expected to reopen on Thursday.

The changes suggest that the owners of the 16-year-old restaurant believe it will be around for some time to come. Eventually, however, Rhodeside is set to be demolished as part of a planned expansion of the next-door National Science Teachers Association office building. The development was first approved by the Arlington County Board in 2005, but a construction timetable has not yet been set.

In 2011, Rhodeside co-owner Wilson Whitney told ARLnow.com that he expects that Rhodeside will re-open in the new building once it is built.

“This has been arranged but [we] do not see it happening any time soon,” Whitney said.

Photos courtesy Rhodeside Grill

 

by ARLnow.com — February 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm 1,117 47 Comments

Food truck has its license inspected by police in Rosslyn (file photo)(Updated at 6:25 p.m.) Food truck owners are declaring victory after a successful showdown over a street vending ordinance in Arlington General District Court.

Currently, under Arlington County Code 30-9, food trucks are prohibited from vending on a public street for more than an hour in one spot. The enforcement of that portion of the Arlington County Code led to an outcry among food truck owners, who say it unfairly targets their business in order to protect brick-and-mortar restaurants.

Late last year, the Institute for Justice, an Arlington-based libertarian law firm, announced that it was taking up the case of Arlington food trucks as part of its National Street Vending Initiative, which seeks to break down legal barriers for street vendors. Today, that effort bore fruit.

Seoul Food truck serves up Korean cuisine (File photo)An Arlington County judge, at the request of prosecutors from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, dismissed a loitering charge against Hyun “Anna” Shil Goree, co-owner of the Seoul Food truck. Goree was charged with the crime — a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 — after a police officer determined that she had not moved her truck “far enough” to comply with the law.

Last year Goree was fined $25 and $200 after pleading no contest to street vendor loitering charges in August and October. After being charged again in December, she decided to fight back, enlisting the help of the the Institute for Justice and the law firm of Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher LLP. The charged was dismissed today via a nolle prosequi motion.

The Food Truck Association of Metropolitan Washington, which has spoken out against the Arlington ordinance, says the dismissal is a victory against an arbitrary law that’s “vague and open to different interpretations.”

“This case highlights the absurdity of treating what amounts to a parking violation as a crime on par with assault,” said Doug Povich, co-owner of Red Hook Lobster Pound truck and Chairman of the Food Truck Association. “The Food Truck Association hopes to work with the County in the months ahead to craft a food-truck law that serves the County’s residents and workers and keeps food trucks as a vibrant part of Arlington’s business community and streetscape.”

Arlington County spokeswoman Mary Curtius said the county is indeed working to change the ordinance.

“We realize that the 60-minute time limit is challenging for vendors and for customers, and we are working to change it,” Curtius said. “We hope to be bringing something forward in the Spring.”

Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos said she asked for the charges to be dismissed after consulting with the police department.

“I made the decision… in consultation with the police department and with the awareness that the current ordinance is very difficult to enforce,” she told ARLnow.com. “It’s difficult to enforce because it requires a police officer to watch a truck for an hour (or some other witness willing to come to court to testify to the fact that the food truck hasn’t moved in 60 minutes)… then there is the definition of ‘move’ that is also problematic. Does it mean an inch? A parking space? Around the block?”

“The officers were responding to requests from store owners to enforce the ordinance,” Stamos continued. “Unfortunately, the ordinance, as written, is rather unclear and a criminal statute is always construed against the Commonwealth and in favor of the defendant, which is as it should be.”

Stamos said it’s “unlikely” that her office will prosecute additional loitering cases against food trucks until the County Board updates the ordinance.

The full press release from the Food Truck Association, after the jump.

File photos

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — February 4, 2013 at 1:30 pm 3,400 47 Comments

'Smash and grab' robbery at the Zales jewelry store in Pentagon City mall

Update at 5:10 p.m. — Police have released surveillance video of the robbery.

A group of men armed with hammers smashed a jewelry store display counter at the Pentagon City mall and fled with handfuls of jewelry.

The robbery took place around 11:00 a.m. at the Zales store in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

Four younger adult men — described as three black males and one white male — entered the store wearing jeans and black hoodies over their face, according to Arlington County police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Two of the men smashed the glass counters with hammers and “grabbed as much as they could,” Sternbeck said.

The men then ran to a car in the nearby parking garage, where a getaway driver was waiting. The car — a red Nissan sedan — smashed through a parking gate and drove off, according to Sternbeck. Police have so far been unable to locate the vehicle or the suspects.

All told, the men stole 27 rings, worth approximately $128,000 — just in time for Valentine’s Day. Police are reviewing surveillance footage as part of their investigation.

'Smash and grab' robbery at the Zales jewelry store in Pentagon City mall 'Smash and grab' robbery at the Zales jewelry store in Pentagon City mall

by ARLnow.com — February 4, 2013 at 11:50 am 1,869 32 Comments

Barbara KanninenArlington School Board member James Lander is facing a primary challenge this year.

Lander is being challenged in the upcoming Democratic Caucus by Barbara Kanninen, a Yorktown High School mom, children’s book author, environmental economist and Democratic National Convention delegate. The endorsement caucus is scheduled for May 9 and 11.

Lander is the only African American elected official in Arlington, where about 8 percent of the population is Black or African American. This has led some political observers to predict a racially-charged primary.

Kanninen plans to officially announce her candidacy at Wednesday’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting. Asked why she’s running, Kanninen released the following statement to ARLnow.com.

We have great schools in Arlington, from preschool all the way to high school. We prepare thinkers, entrepreneurs, and artists, and we prepare them well. But, the world is changing fast and we need to stay ahead of the curve. We need a School Board that is experienced, forward thinking, and, above all, passionate about educating kids.

Kevin and I have lived in Arlington for 20 years. We have been elementary school parents for 9 years, middle school parents for 6 years, and high school parents for 3.

I have spent years volunteering in classrooms, doing everything from one-on-one reading, to hands-on science, to gifted math. I’ve worked with kids of all ages and backgrounds and skill-levels.

I’m a math geek, a children’s book author, a Ph.D. economist with a business motto of “Good, Clean Data Crunching.”

I’ve worked on School Board committees. I’ve been on the ACI — the Advisory Council on Instruction. I’ve co-chaired the Early Childhood Advisory Committee, and I’ve served on the Math Advisory Committee.

I coached Odyssey of the Mind for seven years.

I am also, occasionally, a political activist.

All these experiences — but especially that of being a parent — have fed into and nurtured my core belief that all children are awesome human beings, they all deserve every opportunity to excel, and we owe it to them to pay attention, to push our own thinking in new and fresh ways, and to never, ever shrug our shoulders.

Here are three things I think we should focus on, going forward:

  • Strengthening our STEM programs — science, technology, engineering, and math. More hands-on science programs in elementary school, Mentoring programs for middle and high school science fair projects. Better utilization of the crown jewel of STEM education here in Arlington: the Arlington Career Center. We need to make it more accessible to more kids, including making summer programs more affordable.
  • The Arts. Young people are coming into a world where new ways to express yourself are cropping up every day — video, graphics, even music is changing. We not only have the opportunity to help kids take their talents to the cutting edge, but, if needed, we can help them use their talents and interests to buttress up their academics.
  • Finally, at the end of the day, kids are kids, and kids needs personal support. I believe every child in Arlington should be able to walk into their school building every morning and know that there is at least one adult who knows them on a personal level, who believes in them — exactly as they are.

Photo via barbarakanninen.com

by ARLnow.com — February 4, 2013 at 11:05 am 364 10 Comments

Morgan Monceaux (photo via MWAA)On Wednesday, Reagan National Airport will host an artist who will create a new work of art as students and travelers watch.

In honor of Black History Month, Baltimore-based artist/historian Morgan Monceaux will work on a new original painting for his Negro Baseball League series. Art students from Howard University will be on hand to watch and talk with the artist.

“While working on his new art series, Monceaux will explain his creative process in choosing subjects, developing materials, art media and finalizing the portrait for display,” according to a press release. “He also will answer questions from the audience.”

The art event is taking place on Wednesday (Feb. 6), at DCA’s baggage claim area, near door #4. Travelers will be able to witness the art creation as they retrieve their luggage.

The event is being sponsored by the Airports Authority Arts Program, which underwrites art and performances at Reagan National and Dulles International airpots.

Paintings from Monceaux’s “Hail to the Chiefs” series is currently on display at Reagan National. The series, which is on display through Feb. 28, features portraits of U.S. presidents and their wives.

Photo via Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

by ARLnow.com — February 4, 2013 at 10:00 am 680 11 Comments

Restaurant Week 2013 logoThe annual Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week starts today and runs through Sunday, Feb. 10.

More than 240 restaurants around the region will be offering special deals on meals. During restaurant week, participating eateries will be offering fixed price dining options — $20.13 for lunch and $35.13 for dinner. Some restaurants will offer special prix fixe menues for Restaurant Week, while others will offer their entire menu.

In Arlington, 16 restaurants will be participating, including:

Four Falls Church restaurants — 2941 Restaurant, Mad Fox Brewing Company, Open Kitchen and Pizeria Orso — will also be participating.

Columbia Pike, meanwhile, is hosting its own restaurant week later this month. The first annual Columbia Pike Restaurant Week will run from Feb. 18 to 24 and will feature $10 lunches and $25 dinners at a dozen Pike restaurants.

Disclosure: CPRO, the organizer of Columbia Pike Restaurant Week, is an ARLnow.com advertiser

by ARLnow.com — February 4, 2013 at 8:40 am 484 1 Comment

A&R Engravers in Clarendon (photo by Jorge Banales)

Kaine Meeting With Defense Contractors in Arlington — Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) will be in Arlington today meeting with Northern Virginia defense contractors. Kaine will be holding a roundtable discussion at Courthouse-based contractor Dynamis at 3:00 p.m. “The event today in Arlington will discuss the upcoming sequester cuts that are reported to threaten 1 to 1.4 million jobs with a disproportionate effect in Northern Virginia,” a Kaine spokeswoman told ARLnow.com.

Arlington Tax Surcharge Advances – A bill to restore Arlington’s 0.25 percent hotel tax surcharge is closer to passing in the Virginia General Assembly. The bill has passed the state Senate and last week passed the House of Delegates Committee on Finance, albeit with a three year sunset provision. The Arlington Chamber of Commerce supports the tax surcharge, which helps to fund county tourism promotion efforts. [Sun Gazette]

PBS Doc Films at Glebe, H-B Woodlawn — An upcoming PBS documentary called “The Path to Violence” filmed at two Arlington Public Schools on Sunday. The production filmed at Glebe Elementary School and at H-B Woodlawn, according to an email from Arlington County. The Path to Violence, which is expected to air the week of Feb. 18, will tackle the topics of school safety and school violence.

Corps of Engineers to Review Tree Concerns — The Army Corps of Engineers says it will revise its Environmental Assessment of Arlington National Cemetery’s planned expansion in response to concerns from residents about the loss of old-growth trees. [Arlington Mercury]

Flickr pool photo by Jorge Bañales

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