54°Rain

by ARLnow.com — March 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm 908 2 Comments

This Easter weekend, hunt for something other than colored eggs and marshmallow bunnies. Here are a handful of open houses in Arlington this weekend.

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

6916 Fairfax Drive6916 Fairfax Drive
2 BD | 1 BA condominium
Katie Wethman, Keller Williams Realty
Listed: $390,900
Open: Sunday, March 31 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

820 Pollard Street North820 Pollard Street North
2 BD | 1 BA condominium
Evelyn Williams, Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
Listed: $549,000
Open: Saturday, March 30 from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.

1120 Taylor Street North1120 Taylor Street North
3 BD | 2 Full BA, 1 Half BA condominium
Brittany Camacho, Century 21 Redwood Realty
Listed: $639,990
Open: Saturday, March 30 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

2605 Kenmore Court South2605 Kenmore Court South
3 BD | 3 Full BA, 1 Half BA townhouse
Thomas Hennerty, Netrealtynow.com, Llc
Listed: $720,000
Open: Saturday, March 30 from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.

111 N. Irving Street111 N. Irving Street
4 BD | 4 BA single family detached
Carter Hagen, Re/max Allegiance
Listed: $1,175,000
Open: Sunday, March 31 from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.

by ARLnow.com — March 29, 2013 at 11:45 am 1,950 42 Comments

Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Katie Carter, cheesemonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)

Cheese at ArrowineIn this column, I will be writing about real cheese. I do not care much for the processed, factory made “cheese food”. My passion is for authentic cheese made with fresh milk using traditional techniques. This kind of cheese is described as artisanal, meaning it is made by a skilled artisan. It is a fascinating subject that I know you will enjoy, too.

Cheese, simply put, is a food made from the coagulated proteins of milk. Tasty and nutritious pressed curds, basically. Throughout this column, I will show you that cheese is also more than that. Cheese is now a science, an art form, and an important culture. Every cheese is unique and every cheese tells a story.

Cheese was not invented by mankind, it was discovered. Milk is our first food but babies do not simply digest the milk; newborn stomachs actually turn that liquid nutrition into a more substantial form by coagulating the proteins and creating a semi-solid food. This food is digested slower and nutrients are absorbed better, increasing the baby’s chance of survival. This is also the case with the ruminant mammals we domesticated, which is how we discovered cheese.

Stomachs of young farm animals were once used for transporting milk long-distances. Enzymes within the stomach (chymosin, pepsin, and lipase) coagulated the milk during its journey and upon arrival, a wet, chunky mass was discovered. That is one theory of how we discovered cheese. Another possibility is that harvested milk was left by the fire one night and the warmth slowly coagulated the milk. The milk in both of those cases was most likely consumed, despite its odd appearance, and we realized that those chunky or gel-like forms seemed to keep us full for a longer period of time. Notably, it was also recognized as much gentler on our stomachs, as the people of the Neolithic times were most likely lactose intolerant and cheese contains very little lactose. Cheese became an important part of many early cultures, as it provided a long lasting form of vital nutrition.

Cheese has evolved since those early days of domestication. We now have thousands of varieties, yet the basic process of cheesemaking is the same today. We still coagulate milk using either enzymes, acid, or heat. Once the milk has coagulated and is in a gel-like state, it is cut or drained to release the liquid that is trapped in the protein matrix. This liquid is called whey, the solid pieces remaining are called curds. The curds are compacted together in a form and salt is applied in various ways. The cheese is aged for some time or consumed soon after production. It’s a simple craft that has spawned, over millennia, countless types and endless variations. Styles produced today include fresh, soft ripened (bloomy rind), washed rind, pasta filata, semi-soft, firm, blue, and flavored. Cheesemakers utilize the milk from goats, sheep, cows, water buffalo, donkeys, yak, moose, and even camels.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — March 29, 2013 at 10:35 am 1,309 117 Comments

New Super Stop at Columbia Pike and Walter Reed DriveArlington County has halted the planned construction of a new “Super Stop” bus stop along Columbia Pike, pending a review of the project’s design and cost.

The announcement comes following a public outcry about the cost of the first Super Stop, at the corner of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive. As first reported by ARLnow.com, the prototype bus stop — which offers amenities like lighting, heating and an electronic display that shows when the next buses are coming — cost more than $1 million to build.

While county officials blamed the high cost and construction delays on various factors — it was the first of its kind, its construction was managed by WMATA, etc. — the amount budgeted for the remaining 23 stops in the planned Columbia Pike Super Stop network suggests a still-high per-stop cost of around $900,000.

Other criticism of the stops, which will eventually serve the Columbia Pike streetcar system, includes the lack of shelter from wind and rain.

In a press release, Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan calls the Super Stops a “key long-term transit investment.” But the county says it has cancelled bidding for the next planned Super Stop, in front of Penrose Square, pending a review of the design, timing and cost of the stops.

Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan said today that the County is reassessing the design and timing of the roll out of its planned Columbia Pike Super Stops in the wake of public concern about the recently opened Walter Reed Super Stop.

“Super Stops are a key long-term transit investment for our County,” Donnellan said. “They are integral to our efforts to transform Columbia Pike to a more transit-oriented Main Street. We have to get them right. Although our Walter Reed Super Stop is a prototype, and has only been operating for about a week, I’ve heard the community’s concerns about its design and cost. I have asked staff to pause the program while we look for ways to improve the design and reduce costs of future Super Stops.”

“This project took longer and cost more than it should have,” Donnellan said. “We have an obligation to the taxpayers of Arlington, the Commonwealth and the nation to ensure that our infrastructure projects are delivered in a timely, cost-effective manner. We will do better.”

Arlington built the Walter Reed prototype Super Stop under a project agreement with the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) that put Metro in charge of the stop’s construction. More than six months ago, the County deleted two other planned stops from its agreement with WMATA and will build all future Super Stops on its own. This week, the County rescinded an invitation to bid on the planned Penrose Square Super Stop pending the Super Stop design and cost reassessment.

“I ask riders to keep in touch with us about their experiences with the Walter Reed Super Stop,” Donnellan said. “Our goal is to build stops that are safe, comfortable and encourage more people to use transit.” Comments and suggestions should be emailed to des@arlingtonva.us, with “Super Stop” in the subject line.

Long-term transit investment

Arlington plans to build 24 Super Stops along Columbia Pike, one of the most heavily travelled corridors in Northern Virginia. Each stop is meant to last for 30 years or more. Much more than a traditional bus stop, the Super Stops will shelter up to 15 riders and will serve both buses and the planned streetcar. Arlington’s Super Stops were designed with extensive input from riders and other community members during a multi-year public design process.

by ARLnow.com — March 29, 2013 at 9:45 am 1,014 38 Comments

Cherry blossoms in Courthouse

Man Struck by Car in Clarendon Runs Race — Michael Sizemore, 28, is making a remarkable recovery after being struck by a car in Clarendon and nearly dying this past fall. Sizemore, who suffered a fractured skull and two broken legs in the accident, among other injuries, ran a 5K race in Martinsville, Va., near his hometown of Collinsville, this past Saturday. Sizemore’s father, girlfriend, friends and other families were on hand to cheer him on. [Martinsville Bulletin, Facebook]

Residents Speak Out at Tax Rate Hearing — It was a much shorter affair than Tuesday’s nearly four hour public budget hearing, but a public hearing on Arlington County’s proposed tax rate drew a small crowd of activists Thursday night. Those advocating for more affordable housing and social services asked the County Board to raise taxes up to the legal maximum of 5 cents, while budget hawks asked for no tax increase or, at minimum, following the County Manager’s recommendation for a 3.2 cent tax increase. [Sun Gazette]

County to Hold Student ‘ART’ Contest — The county is challenging budding middle school and high school artists in Arlington to design a pedestrian safety-themed “wrap” for buses. The winning entry will be used to wrap one ART bus. The submission deadline is June 3. [Arlington County]

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