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by ARLnow.com — February 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm 1,291 31 Comments

Sketch of the new Wakefield High School aquatics center Sketch of the new Wakefield High School

The new Wakefield High School, slated for completion this summer, will include two new publicly-accessible pools. An upcoming meeting will provide the public an opportunity to learn more about and weigh in on the operation of those pools.

On Tuesday, March 12, from 7:00 to 9:00 at the Arlington Education Center (1426 N. Quincy Street), the Arlington Public Schools Aquatics Committee will hold its annual aquatics forum for residents. The forum will focus on the new Wakefield aquatics center, but will also discuss the existing Washington-Lee and Yorktown pools. A similar meeting in 2009 gave residents a chance to contribute views on the then-new Washington-Lee aquatics center.

Expected to open to the public in September, the new Wakefield aquatics center will consist of an 8-lane lap pool and an instructional/diving pool that can also be used as a 5-lane lap pool.

In an email, APS Aquatics Director Helena Machado told us the following about the new facility.

The Wakefield facility pool currently under construction will contain two swimming pools. The “competition pool” will be 25 yards in length and will have 8 lanes. The “instructional/diving” pool will be 25 meters in length and 33.3 feet wide. This pool’s primary use will be for diving and a wide variety of shallow and deep water instructional activities. This pool’s unique configuration of joining diving and shallow-water instructional space will give us the opportunity to also use the pool as a 5-lane lap pool of either 25 yards or 25 meters in length.

The new Wakefield aquatics facility will be programmed and staffed to provide the best possible service to the aquatics community, and at this time there are no plans to reduce community swim hours. The facility and both of its pools will be used for a wide range of aquatics activities, including swimming instruction, water fitness classes, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, and lap swimming. The pool will be staffed to ensure a safe environment for all of its program participants.

The “instructional/diving” pool will be open daily for classes, diving or other special needs (including lap swimming at times) as needed, and as the scheduling and programming warrants. It was designed as a flexible space and not designed to be only a lane pool. As a result, it will be programmed that way which has always been the plan.

Wakefield High School, at 4901 S. Chesterfield Road, is about 6 miles away from the county’s planned $80 million Long Bridge Park aquatics center.

by ARLnow.com — February 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm 745 10 Comments

New Ballston location for Potomac River Running storeArlington’s Potomac River Running store has completed its move across Ballston.

On Thursday the store wrapped up a move from its former location at 3924 Wilson Blvd to the new location at 4501 N. Fairfax Drive. The new running store is located next to a FedEx office location, across from the Marymount University “Blue Goose” building at the corner of Fairfax Drive and Glebe Road.

While the new store doesn’t have the surface parking lot of the former location, it is validating parking at the building’s underground garage off of N. Vermont Street.

Store co-owners Ray and Cathy Pugsley told us last month that the move was prompted in part by the former location’s lack of street visibility, concern that the single-story shopping center they used to be in would be redeveloped, and the new location’s better proximity to the Custis Trail.

by ARLnow.com — February 15, 2013 at 2:30 pm 1,142 46 Comments

Today the House of Representatives passed a bill (261-154) that would freeze the pay of federal workers for a third straight year.

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) spoke out against the bill, comparing it to Irish satirist Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.”

“Today, the House majority, unfortunately without Mr. Swift’s humor or irony, offers its own Modest Proposal,” Moran said. “To ensure our elderly are cared for, let’s cut the pay of those responsible for their health. To make sure our food and drugs are safe, let’s diminish the benefits of those whose job it is to screen for safety and unintended effects. To find a cure for cancer, let’s punish the researcher who toils daily to save millions of Americans from the disease. To care for our veterans, who were sent by this body to fight in foreign lands, let’s make their caretakers find a second job.”

The proposal, H.R. 273, is not expected to be taken up by the Senate, and thus not expected to become law. Federal workers are currently slated to receive a 0.5 percent pay raise after March 27, thanks to an executive order issued by President Obama in December.

by ARLnow.com — February 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm 7 Comments

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

So maybe it’s the day after Valentine’s Day but I know many couples who, when it lands in the middle of the week, choose to celebrate over the weekend. While it may be more traditional to have a nice bottle of Champagne or to pair some wine with a romantic dinner, there are some beers out there that I think would be appropriate for a nice romantic evening.

Biere Brut: Beers modeled after Champagne can fit right in, especially for those who have some issues with the acidity of Champagne or get too dried-out from the carbonation. Not every Biere Brut is a no-brainer, however; as much as I enjoy Mikkeller’s Nelson Sauvin Brut IPA, it’s a little funky with wild yeast character to just throw out there. I’d recommend the cidery floral notes of Deus or the Rose Champagne-styled l’Equilibrista from Italy’s Birra del Borgo. l’Equilibrista, in particular, would work quite well with a chocolate and fruit plate dessert. Speaking of chocolate:

Chocolate Stouts: Snag a 12 or 22oz bottle of a rich, chocolaty Stout and split it over dessert. Heavy Seas Siren Noire is currently available and carries a nice balance of cocoa flavor and dry Stout character. Southern Tier Choklat is outstanding poured over ice cream, if you’re making dessert at home. Evil Twin Aun Mas a Jesus would be a nice small-bottle replacement for a Ruby Port, and I’ve recommended it in the past as just that.

Blatant Pandering: The recently (in bottles anyway) released Lost Rhino Pretty In Pink sports a bright pink label containing a Saison-style Ale using pomegranates. A collaboration of local female beer pro’s (Lost Rhino’s Becky Jordan, Hardywood’s Rachael Cardwell, Kristi Mathews Griner—at the time of Vintage 50 but soon to be head brewer at Capitol City Brewing Company, and Megan Parisi of the soon-to-open Bluejacket in DC), proceeds from Pretty In Pink go toward breast cancer research. Not only is the beer for a good cause, but its blend of bright, Saison character and fruitiness is fun and refreshing. Another beer that comes to mind is Lower Dens from Stillwater Artisanal Ales; another Saison, Lower Dens uses spelt malt and hibiscus flowers to create a Farmhouse-style Ale that has a clean palate with rustic, grainy notes and a present but not overwhelming influence from the flowers.

Whatever you end up drinking this Valentine’s Day, I hope you enjoy it with the one you love. 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 — February 15, 2013 at 11:55 am 65 Comments

Pothole on S. Glebe Road near 2nd StreetBy at least one measure, Arlington’s roads — all 376 miles of them  – are in better shape than they were last year.

Since Nov. 1, Arlington County crews have filled 1,007 potholes on county-maintained roads, according to Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel. Compare that to the 2,184 potholes filled between the start of November and the end of February last year.

McDaniel attributed the big drop in potholes to the mild winter we’ve experienced so far.

Still, a report that came out last summer suggests that Arlington has plenty of room for improvement when it comes to street maintenance. On a scale of 0 to 100, the average Pavement Condition Index for Arlington’s roads was 68.9, down from a PCI in the low 80s about 10 years ago.

In general, how would you grade Arlington’s roads at the moment?

 

by ARLnow.com — February 15, 2013 at 10:45 am 1,141 48 Comments

Coast Guard vessel on the Potomac, near Arlington National Cemetery

Same-Sex Couples Denied Marriage Licenses — In what has become a Valentine’s Day tradition in Arlington, three same-sex couples applied for and were denied marriage licenses at the Arlington County courthouse yesterday. Arlington Circuit Court Clerk Paul Ferguson reluctantly turned down the applications and spoke outside the courthouse in support of same-sex marriage. A similar demonstration, organized by another gay rights group, took place outside the courthouse last month. [Sun Gazette]

‘Dooring’ Bill Fails in Va. House — Legislation that would outlaw the “dooring” of bicyclists has failed in the Virginia House of Delegates. The bill had passed the state Senate but failed to pass a House committee earlier this week. The bill would have made it illegal to open a car door in the immediate path of a cyclist. Virginia is one of ten states in the country that do not have such a law on the books. [Washington Post]

Questioning the ‘Female-Friendly’ Sports Bar — Is Bracket Room, the new “female-friendly” sports bar that’s coming to Clarendon, insulting to women? One Washington City Paper writer says the answer is yes. She writes of Bracket Room partner and former reality TV star Chris Bukowski: “…his 2012 appearance on Bachelor Pad, in which former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants live in a house together and compete for $250,000, suggests he may not be the most in touch with women’s preferences. Over the course of the season, the chiseled-abs, blue-eyed Bukowski became the show’s villain, hooking up with and then ditching two of the female contestants.” [Washington City Paper]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

by Nick Freshman — February 15, 2013 at 9:45 am 1,389 56 Comments

Restaurant Talk is an occasional feature written by Nick Freshman, a native Arlingtonian and co-owner ofSpider Kelly’s and Eventide Restaurant in Clarendon.

Restaurants in ClarendonThis is a column just begging to get picked apart. I could mention a Peruvian chicken place and start a war between the Super Pollo fanatics and Pollo Rico acolytes. Name a kebab joint and the Ravi rowdies will have at it with the Kabob Palace crazies. I came up with the idea for this column, then thought to myself: Maybe this is a bad idea.

What the hell. Anything that gets us all talking more about the places in the community we value is a good thing. And to beat the commentators to the punch: This is an absolutely biased list. Our bias.

The fact is we in the industry don’t go out to eat much. Between long hours, late nights and tight budgets, most servers, bartenders and cooks don’t have a lot of time or money for dining out. That said, there are a few spots in the county where you are almost guaranteed to run into the server who took care of you the night before. These places tend to be cheap, casual and almost always have a bar. At many the food is terrific; at others, the drinks are the draw.

What follows is a list of our crew’s favorites. Most are close to work, and there are no doubt many great places not mentioned. This is not supposed to be a comprehensive list, nor a list of the best spots; it’s just our list.

El Charrito Caminante Taqueria

First off, it’s closed on Tuesdays. I have no idea why Tuesday, but I guess they have to close sometime. The parking is tough and the service attentive but, um, brief, and there may be no better place that fits the descriptor “no frills,” but the tacos here are the best. It’s cheap, fast and authentic, and since it’s right on my way to work, I often stop to pick up a bag of tacos for the gang. Other than the namesake product, go for the Yucca con Chicharron–salty fried pork cubes with crispy yucca–and an orange soda. Oh, and bring cash.

Pho 75

Service with a smile? Don’t count on it. And if you really appreciate the sumptuous decor at Eventide, then drive right by this place. But the pho is incredible, the portions huge and the prices cheap. And if you have a double shift ahead, you can order a Vietnamese coffee which will have your heart surging out of your chest by the time you leave.

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