53°Rain

by ARLnow.com — May 20, 2013 at 6:00 pm 0

Neighbors of the Lyon Park mother and son whose house was destroyed by fire last week are collecting money for the family’s needs and for their cat’s medical bills.

Three people –  Liz Tefera, her son, and a tenant who was renting a room in the home — were displaced after fire consumed the home on Wednesday, May 15. Tefera and her son, a 7th grade student, are now staying in a local hotel, having “lost everything” in the fire. The blaze also injured Baby, one of Tefera’s two cats, according to neighbor Donna Seabold and her husband, John.

“Two cats were trapped in the house during the fire,” Seabold said. “One cat was found immediately after the fire was extinguished, and suffered only minor injuries. The second cat, named Baby, was not found until the following day in the flooded basement of the boarded up house. Baby has suffered minor burns, respiratory issues, and carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Baby was brought to VCA SouthPaws animal hospital in Fairfax, where she received three days of oxygen treatment. The treatment has improved Baby’s condition to the point where this afternoon she was able to be transferred to the Nova Cat Clinic in Virginia Square, according to Seabold.

Though we’re told that Tefera’s house was insured, neighbors are collecting money to help pay for the family’s expenses, including some $2,000 in medical bills for Baby.

Those interested in helping the family with Baby’s medical bills or with their other expenses can email babyfiremedicalfund@gmail.com for more information. PayPal donations can also be sent to the address.

by ARLnow.com — May 20, 2013 at 3:45 pm 4,245 0

Arlington County police car (file photo)A man accused of stealing an iPhone in the Buckingham neighborhood on Sunday is probably regretting his decision to flee toward Ballston.

Police say the suspect, 19-year-old Chauncey Myers of D.C., grabbed a victim’s iPhone on N. Glebe Road in the Buckingham neighborhood, then took off in the direction of Ballston. The alleged crime happened around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, and the 22 officers who were providing security at the Taste of Arlington festival in Ballston were notified that the suspect was heading their way.

Numerous officers fanned out from the festival, and the suspect was arrested at the intersection of Fairfax Drive and N. Vermont Street, three blocks from the Ballston Metro station.

Myers was shirtless, out of breath and cursing at officers at the time of his apprehension, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. He was charged with robbery and “failure to ID.”

The officers working at Taste of Arlington were paid by festival organizers, Sternbeck said.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — May 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm 1,844 0

(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) Thousands flocked to Ballston Sunday afternoon for the 26th annual Taste of Arlington festival.

Lines to sample food at the more than 40 restaurant booths seemed generally shorter than in years past, perhaps helped by an effort to expand the footprint of the event in order to reduce congestion. Though cloudy weather and the closure of the Ballston Metro station might have played a role in keeping people away, Ballston Business Improvement District CEO Tina Leone tells ARLnow.com that about 20,000 people attended — which would be a record.

The most tightly-packed crowds could be found in the beer and wine garden, where the over-21 set sampled various brews, ciders and wines. Leone says the beer and wine area will likely be expanded next year as a result.

Other event attractions included live bandsvirtual statues and activity areas for dogs and children.

Three awards were handed out to participating restaurants. Rustico (4075 Wilson Blvd) won for best appetizer, Willow (4301 Fairfax Drive) won for best entree, and Mac’s Donuts, a food cart, won for best dessert.

Disclosure: Taste of Arlington organizer Ballston BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser

by ARLnow.com — May 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm 938 0

A new columbarium has opened at Arlington National Cemetery, just in time for Memorial Day.

Columbarium Court No. 9, as it’s called, has more than 20,000 niches for U.S. military veterans and their families. Each niche in the two-acre columbarium has space for 3-4 urns. The project cost $15.6 million and began in January 2012.

A dedication ceremony was held for the columbarium earlier this month. The ceremony included the burial of the unclaimed remains of six war veterans from the Civil War, the Vietnam War and World Wars I and II.

Columbarium Court No. 9 is 2.5 times bigger than the cemetery’s next-largest columbarium. Rockville-based contractor Forrester Construction, which built the new facility, described its construction in a press release.

This project, awarded to Forrester by the US Army Corps of Engineers, required near perfect quality and pristine finishes ensuring longevity and suitability in the greenscape of Arlington National Cemetery. It involved significant grading, landscaping, environmental management and installation of decorative and commemorative stonework, including flagstone walkways.

Columbarium Court No. 9 is nearly the length of two football fields at 116-feet wide, 11-feet tall and 540-feet long. The foundation of the structure is auger cast piles ranging in depth from 15 to 25 feet. More than 6,000 cubic yards of poured-in-place concrete clad with limestone and granite was used to build the structure. The project features interior and exterior landscaping with a central water fountain, new irrigation and underground electrical systems and storm water management.

The project was completed three months ahead of schedule and, according to Forrester, under budget.

The columbarium will help extend Arlington National Cemetery’s effective life as a final resting place for the country’s war dead. While the cemetery will always remain open to the public, it will eventually run out of space for new burials.

“Without the Columbarium Court No. 9 expansion, Arlington National Cemetery would have run out of niche space in 2016,” said Kathryn A. Condon, executive director of Army National Military Cemeteries. “By adding more than 20,000 niche spaces for our veterans and their families, Columbarium Court No. 9 is extending the life of the cemetery for years to come.”

Some local residents are fighting another effort to add new burial spaces at the cemetery. Arlington National Cemetery’s Millennium Project will include a new columbarium and additional in-ground burial spaces — for up to 30,000 military veterans and their families — but will also result in the loss of about 800 older trees.

Photos courtesy Forrester Construction and U.S. Army

by ARLnow.com — May 20, 2013 at 11:15 am 0

Sewer relining work in North ArlingtonThe Arlington County Board on Saturday approved a $1.8 million project to rehabilitate aging water mains.

The work will take place throughout Arlington, and is intended to extend the life of the county’s water infrastructure while forgoing the expense of a complete replacement.

From a county press release:

The Arlington County Board today authorized $1.8 million for the rehabilitation of water mains, many of which have been in service for more than 60 years. The work will take place in neighborhoods across the County and includes the cleaning and relining of aging distribution pipes using a process called Mechanical Cleaning and Cement-Mortar Lining.

“These rehabilitation projects help the County extend the life of water mains and lines, stretch tax dollars, and prevent expensive and disruptive main breaks,” said Arlington County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada.

Rehabilitation at fraction of replacement cost

Instead of replacing an aging water main, it is possible to rehabilitate the pipe if it is still in good enough condition. Every year, the County selects water mains based on age, frequency of main breaks, and reduction in flow capacity for rehabilitation at a fraction of the cost of new construction and with minimal disruption to the community.

Trenchless rehabilitation means less disruption

Corrosion deposits, known as tubercles, build up naturally over time in older unlined, water main pipes made of iron. The build-up does not normally affect the quality of the water, but it does decrease the capacity of the pipes and can affect water pressure. The trenchless pipe rehabilitation method that Arlington uses involves opening the road at the ends of the pipe segment, instead of cutting the road open along the entire length of the water main, making it less disruptive to traffic near the work area.

Arlington County runs many maintenance programs, such as the water main lining project, to prolong the life and productivity of our infrastructure and facilities. Some other maintenance programs include a distribution valve maintenance program, large valve maintenance program, fire hydrant maintenance program, fire hydrant painting, and annual water main flushing.

The project the Board acted on is part of the Water Main Rehabilitation and Replacement program, which is included in Utilities portion of the FY 2013 – FY 2022 CIP, (Capital Investment Program). D.H.C. Corporation has been selected for the cleaning and cement-mortar lining of Arlington water mains.

When crews work in your neighborhood, you will receive a notice in advance of the project. Temporary service lines are put in service during the work, and flushing is performed to make sure that all water lines are free from any debris that may have entered the system. If you have any questions about your water service in general or as related to one of our maintenance programs, please call 703-228-6555.

Ashlawn Elementary School addition site planAlso on Saturday, the Board approved a new 12-room addition to Ashlawn Elementary School. The total cost of the project is budgeted at about $15 million.

The Ashlawn addition proved controversial thanks to opposition to a plan to create a loop road for student drop-off. In the end, the Board approved the addition with the loop road plan, but not before considerable debate and abstentions from Board members Chris Zimmerman and Mary Hynes, according to the Sun Gazette.

Separately, the Board also approved a technical update to reorganize the county’s Zoning Ordinance, as well as an amendment to the ordinance to allow outdoor cafes on private property to operate year-round.

by ARLnow.com — May 20, 2013 at 9:54 am 3,788 0

The 1960s-era “Blue Goose” building in Ballston has been named one of the most “endangered historic places” in Arlington.

The nonprofit group Preservation Arlington (the new name of the Arlington Heritage Alliance) released the Most Endangered Historic Places list this morning. Included on the list is the Blue Goose building at 1000 N. Glebe Road, which is currently home to Marymount University’s Ballston campus but is set to be torn down to make way for a new office building and apartment building.

Also on the “endangered” list are Arlington’s National Register of Historic Places neighborhoods, like Lyon Village, Cherrydale, Ashton Heights and Penrose. “The social and architectural fabric of these older neighborhoods is being threatened by over-sized and incompatible in-fill development,” Preservation Arlington says.

Other endangered places in Arlington include the Arlington House woods and Seneca Quarry boundary wall at Arlington National Cemetery, which are also on the Preservation Virginia endangered places list; remaining pieces of track from the Washington & Old Dominion Railway; low-rise commercial buildings from the 1930s-1950s; the Wilson School; and garden apartments on Columbia Pike and in Rosslyn.

Preservation Arlington, which says it is “dedicated to protecting and improving the quality of Arlington’s distinct architectural heritage,” will work to preserve historic places like those on the list through “education and advocacy.”

“Preservation Arlington hopes to influence the future of Arlington’s historic buildings, landscapes and communities,” the group says. It will also organize tours, events and lectures .

See the full Most Endangered Historic Places list, after the jump.

Photos courtesy Preservation Arlington

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by ARLnow.com — May 20, 2013 at 8:35 am 1,762 0

Photographer at the Memorial Bridge by Wolfkann

Norovirus Outbreak at Nottingham Elementary — Dozens of students at Nottingham Elementary School have been sickened in what is believed to be an outbreak of norovirus. The contagious stomach illness causes serious nausea and vomiting. So far, Arlington Public Schools officials have not responded to a request for more information from ARLnow.com. [WJLA]

County Board Not Interested in Meals Tax Changes — In response to a speaker at Saturday’s Arlington County Board meeting who was critical of the county’s 4 percent meals tax, County Board members said they’re not inclined to make any changes to the tax. The meals tax is levied on restaurant bills and on the purchase of prepared meals from grocery stores, on top of the state’s 5 percent sales tax. [Sun Gazette]

Arlington Org Targeted By IRS — The Clarendon-based Leadership Institute, a conservative training organization, says it was among the conservative groups targeted for audits and extra scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service. [Washington Free Beacon]

Bike to Work Day Photos — Bike Arlington has published two photo albums from Friday’s Bike to Work Day on Facebook. The albums show Bike to Work Day festivities in Ballston and Rosslyn.

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

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