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by ARLnow.com — July 17, 2013 at 5:10 pm 654 0

United plane at the gate at Reagan National AirportReagan National Airport has set an all-time monthly passenger record.

In May, the airport served 1.88 million passengers, breaking the previous record of 1.85 million passengers set in August 2012. The May passenger figure represented a 9 percent increase from one year prior, according to the Sun Gazette.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said the increase in passengers was “largely driven by service additions on US Airways, JetBlue Airways, Alaska Airlines and new carriers Southwest Airlines and Virgin America beginning domestic service.”

by ARLnow.com — July 17, 2013 at 3:45 pm 7,060 0

(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) Arlington County Police are on the scene of a bank robbery in Clarendon.

The robbery occurred just before 3:45 p.m. Initial reports suggest the suspect made off with about $5,000 in cash from the TD Bank at 3101 Wilson Blvd, across from the Clarendon Metro station.

The suspect obtained the cash after passing a note to the teller implying that he had a gun, according to ACPD spokesman Lt. Mike Watson.

Police are looking for the suspect, now described as a 6-foot tall black male with an average build, wearing a a red, green and yellow Jamaican-style hat. One witness reported seeing the suspect get on a westbound ART bus to flee the scene.

Several ART buses were searched immediately following the robbery, but as of 4:30 p.m. the suspect was still at large. The FBI is en route to assist with the investigation, Watson said.

by Ethan Rothstein — July 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm 1,087 0

District Taco on Lee HighwayDistrict Taco’s location at 5723 Lee Highway had to shut down Tuesday after the heat caused its air conditioning to break.

The restaurant reopened Wednesday morning with temporary A/C units, District Taco owner Osiris Hoil said in an email. The county’s health department told the restaurant to close Tuesday after it was determined that food was being stored in an environment that was too warm.

“The A/C was a contributing factor, but not the reason for closure,” said Department of Human Services spokesman Kurt Larrick. “With the A/C not working, the refrigerator was overburdened and wasn’t able to keep the food cool enough.”

Hoil said he had already submitted plans to the county for approval to install a permanent replacement for the air conditioning unit. Temperatures reached 96 degrees Tuesday afternoon in Arlington, according to Weather.com.

“We couldn’t work and it was not safe for our food to be exposed in the restaurant,” Hoil said in an email. “So we had to transfer everything at our commissary where we have the toritos (taco stands) because we do have a lot of refrigeration there.”

During Wednesday’s lunch rush, the previous day’s shutdown did not seem to have an adverse effect. The restaurant crowded and warm, as the temporary A/C units struggled to keep the crowded space cool.

by Ethan Rothstein — July 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm 1,554 0

Columbia Pike streetcar renderingThe County Board approved an agreement with Fairfax County to move forward as partners in the Columbia Pike streetcar project Tuesday night, but the basic step with the already-approved transit system was again faced with opposition in the board room.

A number of speakers used the opportunity to again denounce the project. They were joined on the dais by Board member Libby Garvey, who made a motion to defer the vote until after a cost-benefit analysis could be done. Her motion died after it did not receive a second.

“This project feels so un-Arlington in its approach,” Garvey said. “We’re not quite sure what it’s going to need, what it’s going to cost… or where the money is coming from, but we’re determined to build it no matter what.”

The cost of the Columbia Pike streetcar project is expected to be at least $250 million. The county is still mulling ways to pay for it, after its initial federal grant request was denied.

The agreement passed Tuesday  – which is expected to be approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors later this month — puts Arlington in line to pay for 80.4 percent of the planning and design phase of the project while Fairfax pays for 19.6 percent. The motion passed 4-to-1, with Garvey dissenting.

Board Chair Walter Tejada and Board member Chris Zimmerman reiterated that the streetcar project had already been approved following a public process, and the partnership agreement with Fairfax County was simply another in many steps the Board will need to approve before the streetcar can be built.

“This is essentially a routine matter to carry out a policy that’s already been established,” Zimmerman said. “Just saying a cost-benefit analysis hasn’t been done doesn’t make it true.”

The speakers came to the podium during the public comment portion of the meeting to air their grievances, which ranged from balking at the cost to accusing the County Board and County Manager Barbara Donnellan of “fraud.”

“We all know how congested Columbia Pike can get, and sadly, we remember tragedies that occurred there,” said Paul Watlington, a streetcar critic. “What I don’t understand is how we think we can have cars, bicycles, buses, school buses, and industrial vehicles all sharing lanes with a streetcar.”

Arlington was designated the lead partner in the agreement, and the Board also approved awarding a planning and design contract to AECOM for $999,131.

“I can think of several better things to spend $1,000,000 on than a trolley we don’t even know we have the money to build,” said Pike resident John Antonelli. We need to decide if we have the funds to build an expensive, maintenance intensive, and inflexible trolley system or if a rapid bus can fill the bill.”

In December, AECOM was the subject of some local intrigue after it was revealed that Zimmerman had done paid consulting work for the contractor’s Canadian division. In March he said he only made $510 from the arrangement.

Several speakers showed up in support of the streetcar project, with some saying they had bought houses along Columbia Pike once they heard of the streetcar.

“The streetcar is clearly the best option for the Pike,” Lander Allin said. “It will get the most people out of their cars and onto public transit, it will move the most people, it will do the most to spur the development that the community has decided that it wants.”

by Ethan Rothstein — July 17, 2013 at 12:30 pm 870 0

Andy Warhol's Silver Clouds (photo courtesy of Brandon Pass and Artisphere)The famous Andy Warhol exhibit Silver Clouds will make its first visit to the region in the fall at Rosslyn’s Artisphere.

Silver Clouds will consist of 150 silver balloons suspended in the air after being filled with a careful mix of helium and air, according to Artisphere. Artisphere has started an IndieGogo campaign to try to raise $10,000 to offset the cost of maintaining the balloons’ delicate inflation balance.

The exhibit will open Thursday, Sept. 12 in the Terrace Gallery and will be free to the public. Silver Clouds will be on loan from The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pa., and will be open until Sunday, Oct. 20.

Artisphere is located at 1101 Wilson Blvd. Opening night will be from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.

“This uplifting installation defies the traditional perceived constrictions of art,” the Artisphere press release announcing the event states, “as the Silver Clouds interact with the viewer and each other, inviting response and igniting a sense of wonder.”

The exhibition will be complemented by a series of public programs, including a commissioned dance piece and interactive workshop by Dance Exchange. Spanish new media artist Sergio Albiac will be creating a commissioned generative portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama inspired by Andy Warhol’s signature portraiture.

Photo courtesy of Brandon Pass and Artisphere

by ARLnow.com — July 17, 2013 at 11:30 am 1,898 0

NOVA Legal Beat logo

Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Mathew B. Tully of Tully Rinckey PLLC.

Q. An ex-girlfriend of mine is alleging that I am the father of her child. We haven’t dated for almost a year and haven’t talked since the breakup. I doubt that the child is mine. What can I do to ensure I don’t get stuck paying for a kid that’s not mine?

A. From the sound of it, your ex-girlfriend is seeking support and maintenance for her child either directly from you or in the form of assistance from the state. When there is no legal father already established (either on the birth certificate or being married at the time of the child’s birth), she is required to identify the probable father. Once she has identified a probable father, the Division of Child Support will initiate child support proceedings against that father. These proceedings include establishing paternity and then establishing support.

When it comes to paternity, you can either acknowledge it voluntarily or ask for a DNA test, which you will pay for if it’s proven that you’re the father. If you have any doubt as to whether you’re the father, you absolutely need to have the DNA test performed; otherwise you will be ordered to pay support.

If the DNA test comes back that you’re not the father, there is nothing else to be done on your part. If it shows that you’re the father, support will be established based on your income and other factors. Also, if paternity is established, make sure that you participate in the process establishing support to ensure that any support amount ordered is appropriate. If there is anything more complex than just looking at pay stubs, you will want to consult an attorney because there are a lot of financial considerations and factors that can go into determining support.

(more…)

by Ethan Rothstein — July 17, 2013 at 10:30 am 1,488 0

New speed limits on Clarendon BlvdThe County Board unanimously approved lowering the speed limits on key stretches of Wilson Blvd, Clarendon Blvd, N. Sycamore Street and N. Meade Street Tuesday evening.

The Board acted in line with its Master Transportation Plan in lowering the speed limits on the key local arteries.

The speed limit on Wilson Blvd and Clarendon Blvd was lowered from 30 to 25 mph between Rosslyn and Washington Blvd.

Meanwhile, the speed limit on N. Meade Street was lowered from 30 to 25 mph between Arlington Blvd and Marshall Drive., while N. Sycamore Street from Washington Blvd. to 17th Street N. will see its speed limit drop from 35 to 30 mph.

The change in speed limit is effective immediately, and county staff said they expect the signs reflecting the change to be installed Wednesday.

“The county’s actions to lower speed limits on segments of some key roads are in keeping with the Master Transportation plan, and are intended to make these roads safer for everyone — drivers, pedestrians and cyclists,” said Board Chair Walter Tejada.

The Board also put a public hearing on the agenda for its Sept. 21 meeting to hear public feedback for lowering the speed limits on N. Lynn and Fort Myer Drive between the Key Bridge and Arlington Blvd. from 30 to 25 mph.

As part of the same resolution, the Board changed the County Code to reflect Virginia Department of Transportation’s imposed speed limits on I-66 and I-395. The speed limits of the roads were not changed but, for instance, the code will now officially reflect that I-66 is a 45 mph road between the Virginia state line and N. Lynn Street and 55 mph between N. Lynn Street and Fairfax County.

by ARLnow.com — July 17, 2013 at 9:30 am 2,943 0

Westwind townhouse community near Ballston (photo via Google Maps)Last week, the website Deadspin took a break from sports coverage to post an email from the president of an Arlington homeowner’s association

Apparently the HOA president of the Westwind townhouse community near Ballston has had it up to here with dog owners not cleaning up after their pooches. After encountering a wayward turd on the sidewalk, the president, whose name was redacted, sent a letter to residents threatening action.

Specifically, the HOA president proposes installing surveillance cameras and, if that doesn’t lead to the guilty party, using DNA testing to match poops with pups.

… I will be proposing in the next Board meeting (July 31), a new rule that would require all dog owners to register their dogs’ DNA so that poops can be positively identified. This practice has now been adopted across the country by many homeowners’ associations who are tired of sending warnings to their residents with no effect.

In addition, the safety surveillance cameras I and other Westwind residents are planning to install on their front and back doors will help identify the offending dog owners.

Do you agree with the HOA president’s suggested course of action?
 

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — July 17, 2013 at 8:30 am 914 0

Traffic on the Key Bridge facing Rosslyn (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

Code Orange Air Quality — Hot and unhealthy air is in the forecast today. Code Orange air quality is expected today through Friday, meaning that pollution levels could be harmful to children, the elderly, or people with health problems. On this hazy and humid day, the heat index could reach as high as 107 degrees. [WJLA]

Arlington Girls’ Fire Camp Profiled — CBS News correspondent Chip Reid took a look at Arlington’s girls fire camp on the network’s morning show. The camp is an effort to help spark interest in the department among potential future female recruits. Percentage-wise, Arlington has more than double the national average of female firefighters. The county also hired the first paid female firefighter in the nation. [CBS News]

Board Approves Improvements to Parks — The Arlington County Board on Tuesday approved nearly $2 million in contracts to repair and upgrade Towers Park and Ft. Barnard Park. Towers Park will get new tennis courts and a basketball court, among other things. Ft. Barnard Park will have its playground and picnic shelter replaced. [Arlington County]

Yorktown Running Back Commits to UNC — Star Yorktown running back M.J. Stewart will play Division I football at the University of North Carolina. Stewart, a rising senior, will still play at Yorktown this fall. [Sun Gazette]

New Pilates Studio Opens – A new pilates studio recently opened in Courthouse. It’s the second Arlington location for the company, My Thrive Pilates. The studios are located at 1401 N. Adams Street and 2800 S. Randolph Street. [PRWeb]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

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