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by ARLnow.com — September 18, 2014 at 9:20 am 0

Helicopter over the Key Bridge

Metro Work This Weekend — Arlington’s Metro lines will be impacted by significant maintenance work this weekend. Riders on the Orange Line should expect trains to run every 24 minutes, while trains on the Blue Line will run every 20 minutes. The Yellow Line, meanwhile, will only run between Huntington and Mt. Vernon Square. [WMATA]

Bracket Room Expanding to DCA — Bracket Room, the upscale sports bar in Clarendon that opened last summer, is expanding with locations in Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport. “The two new restaurants will mirror the Arlington location’s upscale, stylish environment complete with infinity-edge televisions making it the ideal spot to grab a meal and watch a game while waiting for a flight,” according to a press release. No word on an opening date. [PRWeb]

Library Lit Ball Will Have 007 Theme — Library boosters Friends of the Arlington Public Library are planning a James Bond theme for the group’s second annual “Lit Up Ball” fundraiser. The event will take place Saturday, Oct. 18 at Artisphere and will benefit the library’s early literacy initiatives. Tickets are $30. [Friends of the Arlington Public Library]

by ARLnow.com — September 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm 1,394 0

Rendering of a streetcar along Columbia PikeThe Arlington County Board on Tuesday is slated to consider a $26 million contract for preliminary engineering and design on the Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar project.

Following a request for proposals (RFP) process, county staff is recommending the contract be awarded to Omaha-based HDR, Inc., which also handled planning and construction management on the District of Columbia streetcar project.

The contract will cover preliminary engineering and bring the streetcar project up to “30 percent design,” according to Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokesman Eric Balliet. The county is still working on the streetcar system’s final design and construction plan.

So far, the county hasn’t posted the staff report for the contract award proposal. Balliet said there will be a comprehensive presentation at Tuesday night’s Board meeting.

Also on Tuesday, the Board is set to consider a contract for a companion project — the second phase of multimodal improvements along Columbia Pike. The $5.6 million contract, to North Carolina-based Kimley-Horn and Associates, would cover the final design of improvements on all Arlington segments Columbia Pike not covered in phase one of the project.

by ARLnow.com — September 17, 2014 at 12:30 pm 615 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Meatball, a mutt who’s showing his new owners “how to have a dog.”

Here’s what owner Jayne had to say about her family’s first pooch:

Our family adopted Meatball (mutt, but maybe beagle mix?) from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington and brought him home on July 8. He had been rescued from West Virginia and fostered with his six brothers and sisters (all with meat names like Pork Chop, T-Bone and Snausage) at Woofs! training and boarding center.

My husband and I never had dogs growing up and often told people “we don’t know how to have a dog.” Our kids started asking for a puppy a couple of years ago, but we waited until they were older and less high-maintenance before we took the plunge. Meatball was only 8 weeks old when we brought him home. We read books, pamphlets, called Woofs and the AWLA, as well as our dog-owning friends for advice on training and housebreaking. We enrolled him in puppy kindergarten and regularly attend the puppy socials at Woofs in Ballston.

So far so good! Meatball has been a wonderful addition to our family. By day three he was allowed on the couch, even though I said I wouldn’t let him up there. He has yet to climb onto a bed, but I am guessing that is next. He loves to chew on things, including my 6-year-old son’s shorts (while he is wearing them), so we have a lot of pigs’ ears and chew toys lying around. He is mostly housetrained and will even bark when he needs to go out.

Speaking of barking, dinner time is really loud, as he wants to eat whatever we are eating instead of his own food. He has learned “sit” and will play fetch, but only with a Frisbee type toy. He can be naughty and will snatch my daughter’s favorite stuffed animals and go hide under a bed occasionally. He is pretty happy with his crate and will even go into it at night on his own to go to sleep. We have been trying to keep him up late to let him out and have plowed through almost five seasons of Breaking Bad to pass the time. Unfortunately, he still gets up at 5 a.m., weekends included, but we’ll keep him, and our kids are excited to have a new little “brother.”

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email office@arlnow.com with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet.

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Arlington and Northern Virginia.

by ARLnow.com — September 17, 2014 at 11:40 am 762 0

Diners at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Crystal City (2231 Crystal Drive) Monday night had some especially muscular, familiar-looking waiters.

Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris and other team stars donned aprons and name tags for the second annual Blitz For The Better Celebrity Waiter Night fundraiser.

Raising funds “to provide opportunities, support and resources to children and families in need in the Washington, D.C. area,” according to the team blog, the event was organized by Blitz for the Better founder and Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan.

Morris, caught on camera (above) by TMZ Sports outside the event, participated along with tight end Niles Paul, safety Ryan Clark, and fullback Darrel Young, and a number of linebackers and linemen: Jackson Jeffcoat, Gabe Miller, Adam Hayward, Shawn Lauvao and Braxston Cave.

by ARLnow.com — September 17, 2014 at 10:30 am 1,348 0

Handball at Barcroft Sports Center (Flickr pool photo by Highmuckmuck)

Fmr. Arlington Man Pleads Guilty to Murder — Lamont Deshawn Terry, a 39-year-old former Arlington resident, has pleaded guilty to the 1992 fatal shooting of a D.C. man at Hains Point. Terry had driven from Arlington to D.C. with plans to commit a robbery when he encountered victim Chet Hunter Matthews and his girlfriend in a parked car. [Washington Post]

Heritage Center in Courthouse? – An Arlington Heritage Center, hosting exhibits about Arlington’s history and cultural heritage, could eventually be built in Courthouse. Officials are looking at the redeveloped Courthouse Square area as a potential site for the long-sought center. A heritage center on Columbia Pike, which had been discussed previously, is apparently no longer being considered. [InsideNova]

Crystal City McDonald’s Lease Sells for Millions — A ground lease for the Crystal City McDonald’s, at 2620 Jefferson Davis Highway, has been sold for $7.35 million, a possible record. The McDonald’s, which pays around $300,000 per year to lease the land, is expected to remain there through 2026. [Washington Business Journal]

ACFD’s 9/11 Response — Last Thursday, Arlington County fire chief James Schwartz recounted the department’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Arlington was uniquely prepared for the unfathomable attack, thanks to its location and response to other major disasters like the 1982 Air Florida crash, Schwartz said. He also lauded Arlington’s role in the evidence gathering effort, which included finding the terrorists’ drivers’ licenses. [Falls Church News-Press]

WJLA Takes Right Turn Under New Ownership — Rosslyn-based WJLA (ABC 7) has taken a rightward turn following its purchase by Sinclair Broadcast Group. The station now airs conservative commentary, critical of President Obama and “government waste,” during its newscasts. It has also fired much of its longtime management team. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Highmuckmuck

by ARLnow.com — September 16, 2014 at 6:20 pm 5,077 0

A teen boy has been severely injured in a two-story story fall at the Arlington Mill Community Center.

A witness said the teenager had climbed on the other side of a railing two stories off the ground to do “pull-ups showing off for his girlfriend” when he lost his grip and “fell hard on his back.”

He was transported to the trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Another witness at the scene, who did not see the fall but saw the aftermath, said the teen was conscious but “in shock” after the fall.

Police are investigating the incident. One of the teen’s friends caught the fall on video and accompanied him to the hospital, police told ARLnow.com at the scene.

by ARLnow.com — September 16, 2014 at 5:05 pm 9,628 0

Brooke Chrzan (left, via ACPD) and the Meridian apartment complex (right, via Facebook)

The concierge at a Courthouse apartment building has been arrested and charged with stealing booze from residents’ apartments.

The alleged theft happened at the Meridian at Courthouse Commons apartment complex, at 1401 N. Taft Street. Police say the front desk concierge, 27-year-old Brooke Chrzan of Bethesda, admitted to breaking in to numerous apartments and drinking residents’ liquor.

Chrzan was arrested Monday morning after she was allegedly caught on a home security camera using a master key to enter an apartment and have a swig of alcohol inside. The residents of the apartment had purchased and set up the camera after they noticed “quite a bit” of liquor missing when coming home from work one day.

Residents of other apartments had also been complaining about a potential booze thief.

“There were numerous bottles that were mysteriously getting lower and lower in their level of alcohol,” said Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “[Chrzan] admitted to police to entering multiple residences over a period of time.”

Chrzan has been charged with burglary and released on bond.

It was about a year ago that the Meridian building was in the news for another series of break-ins. In September 2013, a man broke into at least three apartments and rubbed the arms of women at they slept.

by ARLnow.com — September 16, 2014 at 3:50 pm 3,403 0

Three people have been arrested following a triple stabbing in Arlington’s Nauck neigbhorhood last night.

Police say a 21-year-old woman, a 24-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man were stabbed near the Green Valley Pharmacy, on the 2400 block of S. Shirlington Road. The 21-year-old woman was rushed to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital after she was found lying on the sidewalk with multiple stab wounds. The other victims were also taken to a local hospital. All three are expected to recover from their injuries.

“[A] police investigation revealed a physical altercation in the street escalated between two groups and several suspect’s brandished knives and stabbed the victims,” Arlington County Police said in a press release today. “Witnesses on scene were able to identify three suspects, who were taken into custody and transported to the Magistrate’s Office.”

Those arrested include 24-year-old Satin Jones of Arlington and 39-year-old Tawana Jones, who have been charged with malicious wounding. Arlington resident Timothy Lowe, 31, was charged with attempted malicious wounding. All three were held without bond.

“The incident remains under investigation by the Arlington County Police Department Homicide/Robbery Unit,” police said. “If anyone has information concerning the incident, please contact Detective Skeens at 703.228.4166 or gskeens@arlingtonva.us. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”

Video (above) via Fox 5/WTTG

by ARLnow.com — September 16, 2014 at 2:35 pm 1,750 0

The eastbound lanes of Route 50 were temporarily closed around 1:30 this afternoon due to a three-vehicle accident.

Two people were transported to the hospital as a result of the wreck, which occurred at the intersection with N. Fillmore Street.

The eastbound lanes have since reopened.

by ARLnow.com — September 16, 2014 at 1:40 pm 483 0

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 & 2014. Please submit your questions via email.

Q. This may be a silly question, but I am wondering if I can use an escalation clause if I am offering less than the listed price for a home? 

A. It’s not a silly question at all, but let me briefly explain what an escalation clause is and how it works for anyone who may not be familiar with it.

An escalation clause allows you start with an initial offering price and specify how much you are willing to escalate your offer price above the next best offer. You may start at $500,000, but specify that you are willing to go up in increments of $1,000 above the next best offer. If the next best offer is $525,000 then yours would escalate to $526,000.

You also specify a maximum amount that you are willing to let your offer price reach. For example, you may set a maximum of $535,000. Your offer will not escalate above $535,000 even if the other offers meet or exceed this number. The process of using an escalation clause is very similar to the process of bidding on eBay.

Back to your question… You will not want to use an escalation clause if you are the only one writing an offer for the property. All that will accomplish is showing the sellers how much you are willing to go up to. Savvy sellers are going to use this information to formulate a counter offer.

The only time it may make sense to include an escalation clause in an offer for below asking price is if you are competing to purchase a property for which you expect all other offers to be below asking price. An escalation clause in this scenario, has the potential to put you in the strongest position in terms of price, without going higher than you need to in order to outperform the other offers.

In a situation where an escalation clause reaches or exceeds the asking price, it is rare that a seller would counter on price. If an offer escalates to a price below the asking price, don’t be surprised if you receive a counter from the sellers if they still don’t think your offer is strong enough, even if you had the highest price.

To learn more, please check out a previous Ask Adam article I wrote about escalation clauses.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by ARLnow.com — September 16, 2014 at 9:00 am 1,832 0

Fighter jet lands at Reagan National for trade show (photo via Textron AirLand)

Stabbing Reported in Nauck — Three people, a man and two women, were reportedly stabbed in Arlington’s Nauck neighborhood late last night. The stabbing followed an argument among a group of people. One man was taken into custody following the incident. [WUSA9]

Pedestrian Signal Coming to George Mason Drive — The County Board is expected to approve a new HAWK pedestrian signal for S. George Mason Drive at the Army National Guard Readiness Center. The safety device will cost about $300,000, 80 percent of which will be paid by the federal government. [InsideNova]

New ‘Pop-Up’ Menu for Water & Wall — Water & Wall is launching a new “pop-up” lunch menu, featuring dishes with southern and mid-Atlantic influences and ingredients. The launch of the new menu follows the Virginia Square restaurant’s successful pop-up Chinese menu in August. [Eater D.C.]

Photo via Textron AirLand

by ARLnow.com — September 15, 2014 at 9:15 am 852 0

High-contrast clouds over Ballston (photo courtesy Erinn Shirley)

Tickets Could Become More Costly — Tickets for traffic offenses and minor criminal cases could be getting more expensive in Arlington. The County Board is expected to vote on a new $5 surcharge that would be tacked on to tickets to help pay for an electronic summons system for the Arlington County Police Department. [InsideNova]

Long Wait for Arlington Burials — Arlington National Cemetery has a “burial backlog.” The average wait time to bury a service member at the cemetery is nearly 6 months, according to an analysis by a Florida newspaper. [News-Press]

N. Va. Senior Olympics Kick Off — The annual Northern Virginia Senior Olympics kicked off at Thomas Jefferson Community Center in Arlington on Saturday. “Olympic” events like Scrabble, Wii bowling and badminton are scheduled at the community center and other venues around Northern Virginia through Sept. 24. [Northern Virginia Senior Olympics]

Photo courtesy Erinn Shirley

by ARLnow.com — September 13, 2014 at 10:15 am 1,763 0

Firefighters are on the scene of an electrical fire at an apartment building on Columbia Pike.

The fire was reported around 9:45 a.m., at the Dorchester Apartments on the 1900 block of Columbia Pike. The fire is said to be under control.

Dominion crews and a building inspector are en route to the scene.

Update on 9/15/14 — Part of the apartment complex was deemed an “unsafe structure” after the fire, displacing 109 residents, according to an Arlington County news release:

This morning, Arlington County firefighters and building inspectors responded to a minor electrical fire that started in one of the four apartment buildings located at 1930 Columbia Pike. There were no injuries.

An “unsafe structure” order will be in effect as of 7:00 p.m. tonight until further notice. County emergency personnel will be escorting residents into the building to gather their personal belongings. Approximately 109 people are affected. The property management company for the apartment is placing affected residents in nearby hotels.

“Keeping our residents safe is always our number one priority,” said Shahriar Amiri, Arlington County’s Chief Building Official. “Currently, all four buildings are without power, and with these conditions, we’ve determined these buildings to be ‘unsafe’ for residents.”

by ARLnow.com — September 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm 1,950 0

The following letter to the editor was submitted by Mary McCutcheon, a North Highlands resident.

Bristlegrass and Conyza Canadensis (photo by Mary McCutcheon)What is a “weed?” I posed this question to two of the inspectors in Arlington’s Code Enforcement office and was told by both that their definition comes from Webster’s dictionary. Before you continue reading, you should look it up and see for yourself if this venerable old lexicon provides any clear standard. O.K. Are you finished? So now that we know what we’re up against, I want to say that this vague and subjective definition is the basis for Arlington’s property maintenance code and people are getting citations that can incur very material and costly, not to mention invasive, penalties for those who are defiant.

I have a vacant piece of land where I am about to build a new house. Over the summer it became covered with multiple species dominated by Conyza canadensis and bristlegrass, both native meadow species, as well as Tradescantia virginiana, perennial lilies, and Monarda which had all begun to look droopy as their flowering season came to an end. Until construction begins, I thought the land was better off with a cover of vegetation, especially these species which attract birds and pollinators. When I got a notice that I had violated the weed ordinance, I was hurt and ashamed and a little indignant all at once.

I phoned the inspector who had issued me the citation and asked what a weed was. That is when I learned that Webster’s dictionary is the botanical reference book that Arlington County uses (per directions of one of Arlington’s attorneys, I learned). I then asked this inspector if Joe Pye weed, Butterfly weed, and Milkweed were “weeds” and, after a painful pause, he blurted “Ma’am, I’m not an arborist.”

In the meantime, the people promoting native plants and rain gardens are explicitly encouraging Arlington citizens to plant more and more of these “weeds.” Let’s make sure the code is consistent with the policy and protect the residents, as well as the flustered inspectors, from confusion.

Responding to my objection that code enforcement is mostly complaint-driven, the inspector replied that citations mainly result from routine drive-by surveys. When I pointed out that a property only a block away from my property had poison ivy tumbling into the road and porcelain berry and other invasive vines growing all over the chainlink fence and it’s barbed wire top, the inspector replied: “Well, if you want something done about it, you should file a complaint.”

Why do we have such codes in the first place? It is not to keep up an aesthetic standard in neighborhoods, as you might have thought; it is, according to the code itself, only to address health and public safety threats. And, according to the inspectors, “weeds” are more often associated with insects, rats and snakes than non-weeds. The truth is that scorched earth clearing and exposed pools of standing water are most often associated with mosquito larvae; vegetable gardens, bird feeders and exposed food waste are most often associated with rats; and the rocky edges of streams such as Four Mile Run are havens for copperhead snakes.

Home owners should not be denied their property rights without compelling public interest. The remote suspicion that one might possibly imagine that there may conceivably be a non-zero probability that a mosquito, a rat, or a snake lives on someone’s land doesn’t cut it.

Photo by Mary McCutcheon

by ARLnow.com — September 12, 2014 at 3:30 pm 1,135 0

A robbery suspect is facing a host of new charges after police say he tried to pass himself off as his brother following his arrest.

Police say Mora Long, a 26-year-old Sterling resident, was the man captured by Arlington County’s SWAT team early Wednesday morning on Four Mile Run Drive. Police and news outlets initially reported that 29-year-old Rattana Long was arrested, but police now say that Mora was pretending to be his brother in order to have an alibi for the robbery.

The robbery took place Friday afternoon on the 5000 block of Columbia Pike, when a man matching Long’s description robbed a store at knifepoint.

In addition to a charge of assaulting a police officer while allegedly trying to evade arrest, Moran Long is now facing charges of “providing false identity to law enforcement, four counts of forging a public document and identity theft.”

From an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit has charged a suspect after he provided a false identity following a seven hour barricade situation that ended in the early morning hours of September 10, 2014. Mora Long, 26, of Sterling, VA has been charged with assault on a police officer, providing false identity to law enforcement, four counts of forging a public document and identity theft. At the time of his arrest, he was wanted out of Prince William and Fairfax Counties for additional crimes. He is currently being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility without bond.

Following an armed robbery of a retail store in the 5000 block of Columbia Pike on September 5, 2014, officers conducted extra patrols of the surrounding area. An individual matching the robbery suspect description was spotted by officers in the afternoon hours of September 9, 2014 in the Columbia Pike Plaza Shopping Center. That individual, Mora Long, was immediately approached and interviewed by officers. During the interview, Long assaulted an officer and then fled on foot to his girlfriend’s apartment in the 4500 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. Long barricaded himself in the apartment until Arlington County Police SWAT entered the residence at approximately 2:00 am and found the suspect in a bedroom closet.

Long initially provided officers with his brother’s identification as it would provide him with an alibi in connection to the September 5th armed robbery and because he knew he was wanted on multiple charges out of other jurisdictions.

Long has not been charged with the armed robbery as that incident remains under investigation by the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit. If anyone has information in regards to the September 5, 2014 robbery of the MetroPCS store in Columbia Pike Plaza, please contact Detective Everest at 703.228.4180 or ceverest@arlingtonva.us. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

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