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Police Arrest Peeper, Seek Additional Victims

by Katie Pyzyk | July 2, 2013 at 3:45 pm | 1,895 views | No Comments

Michael Tomlin Michael Tomlin

Police have arrested a man accused of several recent peeping incidents, and they’re asking other potential victims to come forward.

On Sunday afternoon, 48-year-old Michael Tomlin allegedly hid in a stall of a women’s restroom in a movie theater and was caught looking over the stall at a juvenile victim. Tomlin reportedly fled when the girl’s father confronted him. The father immediately contacted authorities with a description of the suspect, and the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit found Tomlin yesterday in the 4300 block of N. Carlin Springs Road.

Tomlin has been arrested and charged with Trespassing and Peeping Tom. He is being held at the Arlington County Detention Facility on a $5,000 secured bond.

Tomlin has a history of criminal behavior and has served jail time for peeping tom incidents. He was released from jail in May, and has been tied to three peeping incidents since then, including one at Ballston Common Mall last month and the Clarendon Barnes and Noble in May. Police believe he may be responsible for other peeping incidents and they’re asking other victims to come forward.

Anyone who recognizes Tomlin from his recent booking photo (above left) or previous booking photo (above right) and may have information about him or additional crimes he may be involved with is asked to call Detective Jamey Trainer at 703-228-4185 or email investigations@arlingtonva.us. Information can also be reported anonymously by contacting the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS.

Road Closures for Fourth of July

by Ethan Rothstein | July 2, 2013 at 2:30 pm | 1,152 views | No Comments

fireworks-timkelleyThe Arlington County Police Department will close a number of roads for the Fourth of July holiday on Thursday to accommodate the crowds moving throughout the county.

Memorial Bridge and Memorial Circle will be closed all day, from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Below are the other closures to expect.

From 3:00 to 11:00 p.m.:

  • N. Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Route 50 (access to the Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood will be from the Rhodes Street bridge)
  • Marshall Drive from Route 110 to N. Meade Street
  • EB N. Fairfax Drive from N. Pierce Street to N. Fort Myer Drive
  • Exit ramp from westbound Route 50 to N. Lynn Street (Rosslyn exit)
  • Exit ramp from eastbound Route 50 to N. Meade Street (Rosslyn exit)
  • Long Bridge Drive from Boundary Channel Drive to 10th Street S.

From 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

  • EB Route 50 at N. Pershing Drive (detour at N. Barton Street or Washington Blvd)
  • Columbia Pike between S. Orme Street and S. Joyce Street
  • S. Joyce Street from Army Navy Drive to Columbia Pike

“Independence Day event attendees are strongly encouraged to use public transportation,” police said in a press release.

“The Rosslyn Metro stop on the Orange Line is approximately five blocks north of the Iwo Jima Memorial, and the Air Force Memorial is within walking distance of the Pentagon City Metro station,” the release continued. “Arlington County will also be running shuttle buses to Long Bridge Park from the Crystal City and Pentagon City Metro stations.”

Ask Adam: As-Is Sales

by ARLnow.com | July 2, 2013 at 1:30 pm | 2,382 views | No Comments

Ask Adam Header

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email.

Question: We live in Cherrydale and are considering selling next spring. We’ve owned our house for 30+ years, and some parts have rough edges. (80’s kitchen & master bath, 50’s 2nd bath, unfinished basement laundry room). What is your opinion on “as is” sales in this area? I see this as allowing us to keep asking price lower so the new owner can then update to their own taste.

I applaud you for being realistic about the current condition of your house and how the market may react. There are three primary options available to you and you may want to consider them all before making deciding on a strategy.

Tear Down — This can be the easiest option and may be accomplished without even putting your home on the open market. An Arlington agent with a wide network should have a number of builder contacts they can reach out to. You can simply invite them to evaluate the property and tell you what they would be willing to pay for it. If you are not hearing numbers that meet your expectation, then you can also try marketing it as land in the MLS.

Keep in mind that though this is likely the easiest route, it may net you the least money.

Fixer Upper – It sounds like this is the scenario you are leaning towards. It can be a great options if you know your homes is dated and you would prefer to let the next owners make the updates of their choice. You will want to sell the home “as-is” because you don’t want to get stuck making a number of costly repairs as a result of the home inspection, termite inspection, county ordinances, etc..

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County Regulations, Safety Tips for Fireworks

by Katie Pyzyk | July 2, 2013 at 12:30 pm | No Comments

Fireworks trailer on Columbia Pike(Updated at 12:55 p.m.) Independence Day is on Thursday and that means fireworks stands are busy with people stocking up on items to light up the night. But before buying certain types of  fireworks that could lead to an encounter with the law, check out the guidelines from the Arlington County Fire Department.

Although ACFD notes that the safest way for residents to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display by a trained professional, it recognizes that many people will purchase their own. To avoid facing prosecution for illegal fireworks, use the following guidelines listed in the county code:

  • Fireworks must have a hard-coated or slow burning fuse that measures at least one-and-a-half inches long, with a burning rate of at least four seconds.
  • Fireworks that are projectiles or emit flames or sparks in excess of 12 feet are prohibited.
  • Residents must be at least 18 years old to purchase fireworks.
  • Arlington County uses the same guidelines as Fairfax County, which has posted an extensive list online of approved fireworks.

Fireworks booth at the corner of Columbia Pike and Glebe Road (file photo)Customers should only purchase items from a licensed vendor displaying a current permit. Those with a permit issued by Arlington County can only sell fireworks permissible by the county.

ACFD also refers residents to the following general safety tips for handling fireworks, compiled by FEMA and the U.S. Fire Administration:

  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. Sparklers, considered by many the ideal “safe” firework for the young, burn at very high temperatures and can easily ignite clothing. Children cannot understand the danger involved and cannot act appropriately in case of emergency.
  • Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks. Never shoot a firework at or near another person.
  • Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
  • Never try to re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned. Douse and soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Keep a bucket of water handy in case of a malfunction or fire.
  • Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
  • Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
  • Store fireworks in a dry, cool place. Check instructions for special storage directions.
  • Observe local laws.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.
  • Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks.

Ballston BID Optimistic Despite Challenges

by Ethan Rothstein | July 2, 2013 at 11:15 am | 1,919 views | No Comments

The Ballston Business Improvement District held its second annual meeting last Wednesday to discuss Ballston and its future, which looks more uncertain than a year ago when the BID was created.

Held just weeks after news broke that the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service headquarters would be moving out of Ballston for offices in Alexandria and elsewhere, Ballston BID Executive Director Tina Leone said the talks focused on the positives of Ballston’s business future and recent past.

The meeting “recapped the many accomplishments made over the past year,” Leone said. “We did our research. We talked to a lot of people, including residents, tenants and brokers. What resulted was a fabulous trend that highlights connectivity, creativity and endless possibilities. This reflects the type of people that work here.”

Leone said the NSF and FWS moves didn’t come up because they had been discussed at length in the media beforehand. Leone said speculation that the moves would devastate Ballston were exaggerated, and the BID had known something like it was coming for some time.

“Overall it’s not a surprise that we’re losing government tenants. Everyone knows that this has been coming, that things were going to downsize,” Leone said. “[The NSF] was here many, many years ago and they were part of the attraction for many other organizations to come. However, we now have many other organizations here that are related to research, science, discovery and imagination. There’s no doubt we want them to stay but we’re going to recover from this and move on.”

“We’re still where minds meet,” she continued, “and a lot can happen in four years.”

Wayne Kubicki, a fiscal watchdog who previously served on the Arlington County Civic Federation Revenues and Expenditures Committee, is more skeptical in general of the future of the commercial real estate market in Arlington; the county is now facing one of the highest office vacancy rates in its history, and now must figure out how to replace massive government organizations that are moving out.

“The question is, if this is going to continue — and there’s every reason to believe it will — who are the private sector tenants who are going to fill all the space?” Kubicki said in an interview Monday. “I would think, and [Arlington County] board members have expressed concern, that the office market has got some choppy waters ahead.”

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Ebbin Aims to Repeal Hybrid Vehicle Tax

by Katie Pyzyk | July 2, 2013 at 10:15 am | 999 views | No Comments

Protesters join State Sen. Adam Ebbin in push to repeal hybrid vehicle tax (courtesy photo)Hybrid car owners and climate advocates joined State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D) on Monday as the lawmaker announced an effort to repeal the state’s new hybrid and electric vehicle tax.

Ebbin and Del. Scott Surovell (D-Mt. Vernon) both plan to introduce bills to get rid of the tax during the 2014 legislative session.

“Hybrids already pay gas taxes and the mileage of both hybrids and non-hybrids vary significantly,” said Ebbin. “There are gasoline-only autos that get better mileage than some hybrids, and some hybrids, including SUVs, that do not get mileage as good as many gas-only powered cars. The punitive annual hybrid tax was not well thought out and hastily passed.”

The $64 tax went into effect yesterday as part of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s (R) transportation bill. As a compromise between McDonnell and the state General Assembly, the amount was reduced from the originally proposed $100 hybrid tax. The measure is expected to raise about $5 million out of the $1.4 billion budget.

The more than 91,000 hybrid vehicles registered in Virginia make up about one percent of all vehicles in the state. Around 80 percent of the hybrids are registered in Northern Virginia.

Earlier this year, Ebbin and Surovell circulated a petition requesting the removal of the tax from the transportation bill. That petition picked up around 8,000 signatures but did not prevent the tax from being included.

The two lawmakers plan to introduce the bills to repeal the hybrid tax on the first day of the state’s new legislative session, which is January 8.

Morning Notes

by Ethan Rothstein | July 2, 2013 at 8:30 am | 705 views | No Comments

Cherrydale Hardware (Flickr pool photo by christinerich)

WRAP Offering Free Cab Rides July 4 — The Washington Regional Alcohol Program is again sponsoring free taxi rides on Independence Day for those carousing in the D.C. region. From 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., those interested in taking SoberRide can call 1-800-200-8294 and have a free ride home worth up to $30. If the fare would cost more than $30, then the rider would be financially responsible for the difference. Riders must be 21 years or older to participate. [WRAP]

Labels for Ornamental Tree Garden – Members of TreeStewards have set out labeling trees in the Ornamental Tree Garden along the W&OD Trail north of Wilson Boulevard. Many of the trees’ identifying signs had been damaged, lost or, in some cases, switched so they are no longer identifying the correct trees. About 30 trees have been relabeled so far along Four Mile Run. [TreeStewards]

Local Newsletter Pioneer Profiled – Longtime Arlington resident Tom Whipple started sending out summaries to  stories on Virginia politics to anyone who wanted them in the late 1990s. A decade later, the “Whipple Report“ became the most widely read email newsletter among the Commonwealth’s legislators, lobbyists and media. Whipple, who’s married to former state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, passed on his newsletter to the Virginia Public Access Project in 2011. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by christinerich.

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